The Effects of Adenoviral Transfection of the Keratinocyte Growth Factor Gene on Epidermal Stem Cells: An In Vitro Study

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Adenoviral vector, Epidermal stem cells, Keratinocyte growth factor

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Epidermal stem cells (ESCs) are characterized as slowcycling, multi-potent, and self-renewing cells that not only maintain somatic homeostasis but also participate in tissue regeneration and repair. To examine the feasibility of adenoviral vector-mediated keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) gene transfer into in vitro-expanded ESCs, ESCs were isolated from samples of human skin, cultured in vitro, and then transfected with recombinant adenovirus (Ad) carrying the human KGF gene (AdKGF) or green fluorescent protein gene (AdGFP). The effects of KGF gene transfer on cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell surface antigen phenotype, and β-catenin expression were investigated. Compared to ESCs transfected with AdGFP, AdKGFtransfected ESCs grew well, maintained a high proliferative capacity in keratinocyte serum-free medium, and expressed high levels of β-catenin. AdKGF infection increased the number of ESCs in the G0/G1 phase and promoted ESCs entry into the G2/M phase, but had no effect on cell surface antigen phenotype (CD49f+/CD71−). The results suggest that KGF gene transfer can stimulate ESCs to grow and undergo cell division, which can be applied to enhance cutaneous wound healing.

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Molecules and Cells, v. 36, issue 4, p. 316-321