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The Journal of experimental medicine

Epithelial Fli1 deficiency drives systemic autoimmunity and fibrosis: Possible roles in scleroderma.


PMID 28232470

Abstract

Systemic sclerosis (SSc), or scleroderma, is a multisystem autoimmune disorder characterized by vasculopathy and fibrosis in the skin and internal organs, most frequently in the esophagus and lungs. Hitherto, studies on SSc pathogenesis centered on immune cells, vascular cells, and fibroblasts. Although dysregulated keratinocytes in SSc have been recently reported, the contribution of epithelial cells to pathogenesis remains unexplored. In this study, we demonstrated the induction of SSc-like molecular phenotype in keratinocytes by gene silencing of transcription factor Friend leukemia virus integration 1 (Fli1), the deficiency of which is implicated in SSc pathogenesis. Keratin 14-expressing epithelial cell-specific