Date of Award

5-9-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Zhi-Ren Liu

Second Advisor

Yuan Liu

Third Advisor

Susanna Greer

Abstract

Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is a glycolytic enzyme expressed in highly proliferating cells. Studies of PKM2 have been focused on its function of promoting cell proliferation in cancer cells. Our laboratory previously discovered that extracellular PKM2 released from cancer cells promoted angiogenesis by activating endothelial cell proliferation and migration. PKM2 activated endothelial cells through integrin αvβ3. Angiogenesis and myofibroblast differentiation are key processes during wound healing. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that extracellular PKM2 released from activated neutrophils promotes angiogenesis and myofibroblast differentiation during wound healing. PKM2 activates dermal fibroblasts through integrin αvβ3 and PI3K signaling pathway. I also claim that extracellular PKM2 plays a role during liver fibrosis. PKM2 protects hepatic stellate cells from apoptosis by activating the survival signaling pathway.

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