Journal of Diabetic Complications & Medicine

ISSN: 2475-3211

Open Access

Epidermal Growth Factor based Therapy Promotes Intracellular Trafficking and Accumulation of its Receptor in the Nucleus of Fibroblasts from Diabetic Foot Ulcers


Viviana Falcón-Cama, Maday Fernández-Mayola, Yssel Mendoza-Marí, Nelson Acosta-Rivero, Ariana García-Ojalvo, Ricardo Bringas-Pérez, Ivón Menéndez-Valdés, Mariuska Matos-Terrero, Lilianne López-Noudo, Rocío Garateix-Suárez, Karla Pereira-Yañez, Maritza González, Si

Objective: To gain a better understanding of the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Receptor (EGFR) activation, trafficking and biological response in diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), exposed to recombinant human EGF via intra-ulcer infiltration as a healing alternative.

Methods: We studied by immunoelectron microscopy the intracellular localization of the EGFR and Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) in fibroblast-like cells (FLC) from granulation tissue of DFU patients, collected before and at different time points after EGF treatment.

Results: EGF therapy appears to increase EGFR immunolabeling. At early time-points, EGFR labeling is observed predominantly in the nucleus, suggesting a fast EGFR internalization and nuclear translocation. Interestingly EGFR is also detected in the mitochondrial outer membrane. PCNA expression and trafficking were also detected in a time-dependent manner after EGF infiltration.

Conclusion: Differential subcellular distribution of EGFR and PCNA and accumulation in the nucleus, in a timepoint specific manner, supports the induction of an EGF-mediated activation program that is sustained for at least 24 hours after the EGF administration. These findings substantiate the therapeutic ability of EGF to restore the healing process in DFU.


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