Arunima Sengupta, PhD student in the core unit "Live Cell Imaging" at the iLBD/CPC and directly supervised by Dr. Gerald Burgstaller, received an Abstract Scholarship for the 2018 ATS International Conference in San Diego, CA, USA. Her abstract with the title “Secreted Frizzled Related Protein 1 (SFRP1) As A Novel Regulator Of The RhoA/Rock1 Pathway Is Expressed In A Distinct Subset Of Fibroblasts In The Fibrotic Lung” was chosen by the Assembly on Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (RCMB). Congratulations!
The activation, invasion and differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts are hallmarks of progressing lung fibrogenesis. We present new evidence that SFRP1 is expressed in a very distinct subpopulation of fibroblasts, which are alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) negative, during the onset and progression of fibrosis. Moreover, our data support SFRP1's novel role as a regulator of the ß- catenin independent Wnt pathway along the RhoA-Rock1 axis, thus altering the actin cytoskeleton and cellular morphology. Therefore, SFRP1 might stand out as a novel biomarker for early events in lung fibrosis and will be of great importance to establish new therapeutic interventions.