Keloids are reactive or spontaneous fibroproliferative dermal tumors characterized by the exaggerated and uncontrolled accumulation of extracellular collagen. Current approaches to mitigate keloidogenesis are largely procedural in nature. However, a better understanding of its biological drivers may lead to novel targeted treatments for keloids. Through whole-genome expression analysis, we found that an HIF-1α transcriptional footprint is preferentially upregulated (activation score = 2.024; P = 1.05E−19) in keloid fibroblasts compared with normal dermal fibroblasts. We verified that HIF-1α protein is more strongly expressed in keloid specimens compared with normal skin (P = 0.035) and that hypoxia (1% O2) leads to increased collagen, especially in the extracellular compartment. Collagen levels were reduced uniformly by selective HIF-1α inhibitor CAY10585. Our results indicate that collagen secretion may be intimately linked to a hypoxic microenvironment within keloid tumors and that HIF-1α blockade could be a novel avenue of treatment for these tumors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Dept of Defense Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-10-1-0537 to HT), a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2017-0078 to MRR), and institutional funds (to HT).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology