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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Multiple actions of lysophosphatidic acid on fibroblasts revealed by transcriptional profiling

Catelijne Stortelers13, Ron Kerkhoven2 and Wouter H Moolenaar1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Cellular Biochemistry and Centre for Biomedical Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Central Microarray Facility, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Ablynx, Technologiepark 4, 9052 Ghent/Zwijnaarde, Belgium

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:387  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-387

Published: 14 August 2008



Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a lipid mediator that acts through specific G protein-coupled receptors to stimulate the proliferation, migration and survival of many cell types. LPA signaling has been implicated in development, wound healing and cancer. While LPA signaling pathways have been studied extensively, it remains unknown how LPA affects global gene expression in its target cells.


We have examined the temporal program of global gene expression in quiescent mouse embryonic fibroblasts stimulated with LPA using 32 k oligonucleotide microarrays. In addition to genes involved in growth stimulation and cytoskeletal reorganization, LPA induced many genes that encode secreted factors, including chemokines, growth factors, cytokines, pro-angiogenic and pro-fibrotic factors, components of the plasminogen activator system and metalloproteases. Strikingly, epidermal growth factor induced a broadly overlapping expression pattern, but some 7% of the genes (105 out of 1508 transcripts) showed differential regulation by LPA. The subset of LPA-specific genes was enriched for those associated with cytoskeletal remodeling, in keeping with LPA's ability to regulate cell shape and motility.


This study highlights the importance of LPA in programming fibroblasts not only to proliferate and migrate but also to produce many paracrine mediators of tissue remodeling, angiogenesis, inflammation and tumor progression. Furthermore, our results show that G protein-coupled receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases can signal independently to regulate broadly overlapping sets of genes in the same cell type.