Metastasis-associated protein, S100A4 is suggested as a marker for fibrosis in several organs. It also modulates DNA binding of p53 and affects its function. However, the functional role of S100A4 in the myocardium has remained unclear. Therefore, we investigated the role of S100A4 and its relationship with p53 in cardiac fibrosis. In Dahl-rat hypertensive heart disease model, S100A4 was upregulated in the hypertrophic myocardium and further activated during transition to heart failure (HF). It was expressed in various cells including fibroblasts. In in vitro cardiac fibroblasts, the knockdown of S100A4 significantly suppressed both cell proliferation and collagen expressions. S100A4 co-localized and interacted with p53 in the nucleus. S100A4 knockdown increased the expression of p53-downstream genes, p21 and mdm2, and concomitant knockdown of p53 recovered cell proliferation and collagen expression. Transverse aortic constriction (TAC) was performed in S100A4 knockout (KO) mice, which showed a similar baseline-phenotype to wild type (WT) mice. Although there was no difference in hypertrophic response, KO mice showed reduced interstitial fibrosis, decreased myofibroblasts, and suppressed expressions of collagens and profibrotic cytokines in the left ventricle. Also, DNA microarray analysis showed that S100A4 knockout in vivo had a significant impact on expressions of p53-associated genes. These findings suggest that S100A4 modulates p53 function in fibroblasts and thereby mediates myocardial interstitial fibrosis through two distinct mechanisms; cell proliferation and collagen expression. Blockade of S100A4 may have therapeutic potential in cardiac hypertrophy and HF by attenuating cardiac fibrosis.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 2013, Vol 57, p. 72-81