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Keywords:

  • Mesenchymal stem cells;
  • Extracellular matrix;
  • Integrin;
  • Cell signaling

Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplanted into injured myocardium promote repair through paracrine mechanisms. We have previously shown that MSCs over-expressing AKT1 (Akt-MSCs) exhibit enhanced properties for cardiac repair. In this study, we investigated the relevance of Abi3bp toward MSC biology. Abi3bp formed extracellular deposits with expression controlled by Akt1 and ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Abi3bp knockdown/knockout stabilized focal adhesions and promoted stress-fiber formation. Furthermore, MSCs from Abi3bp knockout mice displayed severe deficiencies in osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Knockout or stable knockdown of Abi3bp increased MSC and Akt-MSC proliferation, promoting S-phase entry via cyclin-d1, ERK1/2, and Src. Upon Abi3bp binding to integrin-β1 Src associated with paxillin which inhibited proliferation. In vivo, Abi3bp knockout increased MSC number and proliferation in bone marrow, lung, and liver. In summary, we have identified a novel extracellular matrix protein necessary for the switch from proliferation to differentiation in MSCs. STEM Cells 2013;31:1669–1682