Feature Articles

Advanced Science (2024) Targeting Nuclear Mechanics Mitigates the Fibroblast Invasiveness in Pathological Dermal Scars Induced by Matrix Stiffening

Author :
Fu X, Taghizadeh A, Taghizadeh M, Li CJ, Lim NK, Lee JH, Kim HS*, Kim HW* (2024-02-16)
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Pathological dermal scars such as keloids present significant clinical challenges lacking effective treatment options. Given the distinctive feature of highly stiffened scar tissues, deciphering how matrix mechanics regulate pathological progression can inform new therapeutic strategies. Here, it is shown that pathological dermal scar keloid fibroblasts display unique metamorphoses to stiffened matrix. Compared to normal fibroblasts, keloid fibroblasts show high sensitivity to stiffness rather than biochemical stimulation, activating cytoskeletal-to-nuclear mechanosensing molecules. Notably, keloid fibroblasts on stiff matrices exhibit nuclear softening, concomitant with reduced lamin A/C expression, and disrupted anchoring of lamina-associated chromatin. This nuclear softening, combined with weak adhesion and high contractility, facilitates the invasive migration of keloid fibroblasts through confining matrices. Inhibiting lamin A/C-driven nuclear softening, via lamin A/C overexpression or actin disruption, mitigates such invasiveness of keloid fibroblasts. These findings highlight the significance of the nuclear mechanics of keloid fibroblasts in scar pathogenesis and propose lamin A/C as a potential therapeutic target for managing pathological scars.