The airway epithelium of smokers acquires pathological phenotypes, including basal cell (BC) and/or goblet cell hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, structural and functional abnormalities of ciliated cells, decreased number of secretoglobin (SCGB1A1)-expressing secretory cells, and a disordered junctional barrier. In this study, we hypothesized that smoking alters airway epithelial structure through modification of BC function via an EGF receptor (EGFR)-mediated mechanism. Analysis of the airway epithelium revealed that EGFR is enriched in airway BCs, whereas its ligand EGF is induced by smoking in ciliated cells. Exposure of BCs to EGF shifted the BC differentiation program toward the squamous and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-like phenotypes with down-regulation of genes related to ciliogenesis, secretory differentiation, and markedly reduced junctional barrier integrity, mimicking the abnormalities present in the airways of smokers in vivo. These data suggest that activation of EGFR in airway BCs by smoking-induced EGF represents a unique mechanism whereby smoking can alter airway epithelial differentiation and barrier function.airway epithelial barrier | progenitor cell | cigarette smoking
Smoking-induced global distal-to-proximal reprogramming of the SAE represents a novel pathologic feature of COPD and is mediated by exaggerated epidermal growth factor/epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in SAE BCs.
The airway epithelium of cigarette smokers undergoes dramatic remodeling with hyperplasia of basal cells (BC) and mucus-producing cells, squamous metaplasia, altered ciliated cell differentiation and decreased junctional barrier integrity, relevant to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. In this study, we show that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand amphiregulin (AREG) is induced by smoking in human airway epithelium as a result of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-driven squamous differentiation of airway BC stem/progenitor cells. In turn, AREG induced a unique EGFR activation pattern in human airway BC, distinct from that evoked by EGF, leading to BC- and mucous hyperplasia, altered ciliated cell differentiation and impaired barrier integrity. Further, AREG promoted its own expression and suppressed expression of EGF, establishing an autonomous self-amplifying signaling loop in airway BC relevant for promotion of EGF-independent hyperplastic phenotypes. Thus, EGF-AREG interplay in airway BC stem/progenitor cells is one of the mechanisms that mediates the interconnected pathogenesis of all major smoking-induced lesions in the human airway epithelium.
Sodium-hydrogen exchanger as a channel for regulation of intracellular pH might be a crucial modulator of sperm capacitation and motility. Three members of this family have been identified in spermatozoa. A novel protein testis-specific sodium-hydrogen exchanger named mtsNHE was cloned in the present study. The mtsNHE localizing on principle piece of sperm flagellum contained 12 predicted transmembrane regions without cytoplasmic fragment at carboxyl terminus. Hydrophilic region was common in the sodium-hydrogen exchanger family members. Polyclonal antibodies to trans-membrane region significantly reduced sperm motility, acrosome reaction and ratio of in vitro fertilization. By in-pouring the antibodies in sperm solution, intracellular pH and calcium concentration were decreased. Muscle injection of female mice with the specific gene vaccine of mtsNHE, significantly stepped down fertility rate. Considering its specific expression and involvement in the regulation of fertility, the mtsNHE might be a potential target molecule for developing a new male contraceptive.
CXCL14, a recently described epithelial cytokine, plays putative multiple roles in inflammation and carcinogenesis. In the context that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are both smoking-related disorders associated with airway epithelial disorder and inflammation, we hypothesized that the airway epithelium responds to cigarette smoking with altered CXCL14 gene expression, contributing to the disease-relevant phenotype. Using genome-wide microarrays with subsequent immunohistochemical analysis, the data demonstrate that the expression of CXCL14 is up-regulated in the airway epithelium of healthy smokers and further increased in COPD smokers, especially within hyperplastic/metaplastic lesions, in association with multiple genes relevant to epithelial structural integrity and cancer.In vitro experiments revealed that the expression of CXCL14 is induced in the differentiated airway epithelium by cigarette smoke extract, and that epidermal growth factor mediates CXCL14 upregulation in the airway epithelium through its effects on the basal stem/progenitor cell population. Analyses of two independent lung cancer cohorts revealed a dramatic up-regulation of CXCL14 expression in adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma. High expression of the COPD-associated CXCL14-correlating cluster of genes was linked in lung adenocarcinoma with poor survival. These data suggest that the smoking-induced expression of CXCL14 in the airway epithelium represents a novel potential molecular link between smoking-associated airway epithelial injury, COPD, and lung cancer.Keywords: CXCL14; airway epithelium; smoking; COPD; lung cancerThe airway epithelium, a pseudostratified layer of epithelial cells lining the tracheobronchial tree, is the initial cell population that interacts with inhaled environmental contaminants (1, 2). Among these, cigarette smoke, with its 4,000 compounds and greater than 10 14 free radicals per puff, is a major stressor for airway epithelial cells, and is causally associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer (1,(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8).COPD is a smoking-related disorder defined by irreversible airflow obstruction, associated with structural alterations in the small airways (9, 10), including the small airway epithelium (SAE), which becomes hyperplastic, secretes excessive amounts of mucus, and undergoes metaplastic changes (10-12). In addition to the epidemiological data establishing COPD as a risk factor for lung cancer, several lines of evidence indicate that the molecular mechanisms of COPD pathogenesis are relevant to smoking-induced lung cancer (5,7,8). Importantly, the airway epithelial pathology associated with COPD exhibits remarkable similarities to the pre-neoplastic phenotypes of smoking-induced lung cancer, with a continuum of hyperplastic, metaplastic, and dysplastic changes gradually evolving into an invasive phenotype (13).Studies using mouse models suggest that COPD and lung cancer are both driven, in part, by chronic inflamma...
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