The role of CLCA proteins in inflammatory airway disease.
ABSTRACT: Inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exhibit stereotyped traits that are variably expressed in each person. In experimental mouse models of chronic lung disease, these individual disease traits can be genetically segregated and thereby linked to distinct determinants. Functional genomic analysis indicates that at least one of these traits, mucous cell metaplasia, depends on members of the calcium-activated chloride channel (CLCA) gene family. Here we review advances in the biochemistry of the CLCA family and the evidence of a role for CLCA family members in the development of mucous cell metaplasia and possibly airway hyperreactivity in experimental models and in humans. On the basis of this information, we develop the model that CLCA proteins are not integral membrane proteins with ion channel function but instead are secreted signaling molecules that specifically regulate airway target cells in healthy and disease conditions.
Project description:Complex airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exhibit stereotyped traits (especially airway hyperreactivity and mucous cell metaplasia) that are variably expressed in each patient. Here, we used a mouse model for virus-induced long-term expression of these traits to determine whether individual traits can be genetically segregated and thereby linked to separate determinants. We showed that an F2 intercross population derived from susceptible and nonsusceptible mouse strains can manifest individual phenotypic extremes that exhibit one or the other disease trait. Functional genomic analysis of these extremes further indicated that a member of the calcium-activated chloride channel (CLCA) gene family designated mClca3 was inducible with mucous cell metaplasia but not airway hyperreactivity. In confirmation of this finding, we found that mClca3 gene transfer to mouse airway epithelium was sufficient to induce mucous cell metaplasia but not airway hyperreactivity. However, newly developed mClca3(-/-) mice exhibited the same degree of mucous cell metaplasia and airway hyperreactivity as wild-type mice. Bioinformatic analysis of the Clca locus led to the identification of mClca5, and gene transfer indicated that mClca5 also selectively drives mucous cell metaplasia. Thus, in addition to the capacity of CLCA family members to exhibit diverse functional activities, there is also preserved function so that more than one family member mediates mucous cell metaplasia. Nonetheless, Clca expression appears to be a selective determinant of mucous cell metaplasia so that shared homologies between CLCA family members may still represent a useful target for focused therapeutic intervention in hypersecretory airway disease.
Project description:Respiratory viral infections are associated with an increased risk of asthma, but how acute Th1 antiviral immune responses lead to chronic inflammatory Th2 disease remains undefined. We define a novel pathway that links transient viral infection to chronic lung disease with dendritic cell (DC) expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcepsilonRIalpha). In a mouse model of virus-induced chronic lung disease, in which Sendai virus triggered a switch to persistent mucous cell metaplasia and airway hyperreactivity after clearance of replicating virus, we found that FceRIa(-/-) mice no longer developed mucous cell metaplasia. Viral infection induced IgE-independent, type I IFN receptor-dependent expression of FcepsilonRIalpha on mouse lung DCs. Cross-linking DC FcepsilonRIalpha resulted in the production of the T cell chemoattractant CCL28. FceRIa(-/-) mice had decreased CCL28 and recruitment of IL-13-producing CD4(+) T cells to the lung after viral infection. Transfer of wild-type DCs to FceRIa(-/-) mice restored these events, whereas blockade of CCL28 inhibited mucous cell metaplasia. Therefore, lung DC expression of FcepsilonRIalpha is part of the antiviral response that recruits CD4(+) T cells and drives mucous cell metaplasia, thus linking antiviral responses to allergic/asthmatic Th2 responses.
Project description:The human hCLCA1 and murine mCLCA3 (chloride channels, calcium-activated) have recently been identified as promising therapeutic targets in asthma. Recurrent airway obstruction in horses is an important animal model of human asthma. Here, we have cloned and characterized the first equine CLCA family member, eCLCA1. The 913 amino acids eCLCA1 polypeptide forms a 120-kDa transmembrane glycoprotein that is processed to an 80-kDa protein in vivo. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in the eCLCA1 coding region in 14 horses, resulting in two amino acid changes (485H/R and 490V/L). However, no functional differences were recorded between the channel properties of the two variants in transfected HEK293 cells. The eCLCA1 protein was detected immunohistochemically in mucin-producing cells in the respiratory and intestinal tracts, cutaneous sweat glands, and renal mucous glands. Strong overexpression of eCLCA1 was observed in the airways of horses with recurrent airway obstruction using Northern blot hybridization, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR. The results suggest that spontaneous or experimental recurrent airway obstruction in horses may serve as a model to study the role of CLCA homologs in chronic airway disease with overproduction of mucins.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Atopic diseases have been increasing in prevalence, yet the initial inciting events that lead to atopy are not understood. Paramyxoviral infections have been suggested to play a role; however, much of these data are correlative.<h4>Objective</h4>To determine whether exposure to a nonviral antigen during a paramyxoviral infection is sufficient to drive IgE production against the bystander antigen and whether clinical disease against this antigen would result.<h4>Methods</h4>Wild-type C57BL6 mice or mice deficient in Fc?RI? (Fc?RI?(-/-)) or IgE (IgE(-/-)) were inoculated with Sendai virus (SeV) or UV-inactivated SeV (UV-SeV) and subsequently exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) intranasally. Mice were further challenged 3 times with intranasal OVA on days 20 to 22 after inoculation with SeV, and airway hyperreactivity and mucous cell metaplasia were determined.<h4>Results</h4>Exposure to OVA during SeV infection led to significant OVA specific IgE production (median, 548 vs 0 ng/mL; P = .03; SeV vs UV-SeV). This induction of OVA specific IgE production depended on Fc?RI because Fc?RI?(-/-) mice produced significantly less IgE (112 ng/mL; P = .03; vs wild-type mice). Furthermore, in wild-type mice OVA exposure and challenge significantly enhanced SeV-induced airway hyperreactivity and mucous cell metaplasia, but this failed to occur in either Fc?RI?(-/-) or IgE(-/-) mice.<h4>Conclusion</h4>A single exposure to a bystander allergen during a paramyxoviral infection is sufficient to drive allergen specific IgE production in a partial Fc?RI-dependent mechanism. These data begin to provide mechanistic insight into how viral infections might drive development of atopic disease.
Project description:The airways are conduits that transport atmospheric oxygen to the distal alveolus. Normally, airway mucous cells are rare. However, diseases of the airway are often characterized by mucous metaplasia, in which there are dramatic increases in mucous cell numbers. As the Notch pathway is known to regulate cell fate in many contexts, we misexpressed the active intracellular domain of the mouse Notch1 receptor in lung epithelium. Notch misexpression resulted in an increase in mucous cells and a decrease in ciliated cells in the airway. Similarly, mouse embryonic tracheal explants and adult human airway epithelium treated with Notch agonists displayed increased mucous cell numbers and decreased ciliated cell numbers. Notch antagonists had the opposite effect. Notably, Notch antagonists blocked IL13-induced mucous metaplasia. IL13 has a well-established role as an inflammatory mediator of mucous metaplasia and functions through Stat6-mediated gene transcription. We found that Notch ligands, however, are able to cause mucous metaplasia in Stat6-null cultured trachea, thus identifying a novel pathway that stimulates mucous metaplasia. Notch signaling may therefore play an important role in airway disease and, by extension, Notch antagonists may have therapeutic value. Conversely, in the distal lung, Notch misexpression prevented the differentiation of alveolar cell types. Instead, the distal lung formed cysts composed of cells that were devoid of alveolar markers but that expressed some, but not all, markers of proximal airway epithelium. Occasional distal cystic cells appeared to differentiate into normal proximal airway cells, suggesting that ectopic Notch signaling arrests the normal differentiation of distal lung progenitors before they initiate an alveolar program.
Project description:Airway mucous cell metaplasia and chronic inflammation are pathophysiological features that influence morbidity and mortality associated with asthma and other chronic pulmonary disorders. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms regulating mucous metaplasia and hypersecretion provides the scientific basis for diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities to improve the care of chronic pulmonary diseases.To determine the role of the airway epithelial–specific transcription factor NK2 homeobox 1 (NKX2-1, also known as thyroid transcription factor-1 [TTF-1]) in mucous cell metaplasia and lung inflammation.Expression of NKX2-1 in airway epithelial cells from patients with asthma was analyzed. NKX2-1 +/-gene targeted or transgenic mice expressing NKX2-1 in conducting airway epithelial cells were sensitized to the aeroallergen ovalbumin. In vitro studies were used to identify mechanisms by which NKX2-1 regulates mucous cell metaplasia and inflammation.NKX2-1 was suppressed in airway epithelial cells from patients with asthma. Reduced expression of NKX2-1 in heterozygous NKX2-1 +/- gene targeted mice increased mucous metaplasia in the small airways after pulmonary sensitization to ovalbumin. Conversely, mucous cell metaplasia induced by aeroallergen was inhibited by expression of NKX2-1 in the respiratory epithelium in vivo. Genome-wide mRNA analysis of lung tissue from ovalbumin-treated mice demonstrated that NKX2-1 inhibited mRNAs associated with mucous metaplasia and Th2-regulated inflammation,including Spdef, Ccl17, and Il13. In vitro, NKX2-1 inhibited SPDEF, a critical regulator of airway mucous cell metaplasia,and the Th2 chemokine CCL26.The present data demonstrate a novel function for NKX2-1 in a gene network regulating mucous cell metaplasia and allergic inflammation in the respiratory epithelium.
Project description:Mice representing phenotypic extremes of airway hyperreactivity and goblet cell metaplasia post-Sendai virus infection were identified from a 500 mouse F2 cohort (CB6F2/J). Whole lung RNA from 3 mice at each extreme was analyzed via microarray for gene expression. Subsequent pairwise comparisons between arrays allowed the identification of genes differentially expressed with respect to the disease phenotypes (airway hyperreactivity and goblet cell metaplasia).
Project description:Airway mucus plays a critical role in clearing inhaled toxins, particles, and pathogens. Diverse toxic, inflammatory, and infectious insults induce airway mucus secretion and goblet cell metaplasia to preserve airway sterility and homeostasis. However, goblet cell metaplasia, mucus hypersecretion, and airway obstruction are integral features of inflammatory lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cystic fibrosis, which cause an immense burden of morbidity and mortality. These chronic lung diseases are united by susceptibility to microbial colonization and recurrent airway infections. Whether these twinned phenomena (mucous metaplasia, compromised host defenses) are causally related has been unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SAM pointed domain ETS factor (SPDEF) was induced by rhinoviral infection of primary human airway cells and that cytoplasmic activities of SPDEF, a transcriptional regulator of airway goblet cell metaplasia, inhibited Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation of epithelial cells. SPDEF bound to and inhibited activities of TLR signaling adapters, MyD88 and TRIF, inhibiting MyD88-induced cytokine production and TRIF-induced interferon ? production. Conditional expression of SPDEF in airway epithelial cells in vivo inhibited LPS-induced neutrophilic infiltration and bacterial clearance. SPDEF-mediated inhibition of both TLR and type I interferon signaling likely protects the lung against inflammatory damage when inciting stimuli are not eradicated. Present findings provide, at least in part, a molecular explanation for increased susceptibility to infection in lung diseases associated with mucous metaplasia and a mechanism by which patients with florid mucous metaplasia may tolerate microbial burdens that are usually associated with fulminant inflammatory disease in normal hosts.
Project description:Recent studies have identified members of the CLCA (chloride channels, calcium-activated) gene family as potential modulators of the cystic fibrosis (CF) phenotype, but differences between the human and murine CLCA genes and proteins may limit the use of murine CF models. Recently established pig models of CF are expected to mimic the human disease more closely than the available mouse models do. Here, we characterized the porcine CLCA gene locus, analyzed the expression pattern and protein processing of pCLCA1, and compared it to its human ortholog, hCLCA1. The porcine CLCA gene family is located on chromosome 4q25, with a broad synteny with the human and murine clca gene loci, except for a pig-specific gene duplication of pCLCA4. Using pCLCA1-specific antibodies, the protein was immunohistochemically localized in mucin-producing cells, including goblet cells and mucinous glands in the respiratory and alimentary tracts. Similar to hCLCA1, biochemical characterization of pCLCA1 identified a secreted soluble protein that could serve as an extracellular signaling molecule or functional constituent of the protective mucous layers. The results suggest that pCLCA1 shares essential characteristics of hCLCA1, supporting the pig model as a promising tool for studying the modulating role of pCLCA1 in the complex pathology of CF.
Project description:RATIONALE: Increased production of mucus is a prominent feature of asthma. IL-13-driven mucous cell metaplasia is associated with decreased expression of the transcription factor FOXA2 and increased expression of the related transcription factor FOXA3 in animal and cell culture models. OBJECTIVES: Establish how changes in FOXA2 and FOXA3 expression contribute to mucous metaplasia and determine whether FOXA2 and FOXA3 expression is altered in asthma. METHODS: Mice expressing a Foxa2 transgene in airway epithelial cells and mice deficient in Foxa3 were analyzed after allergen sensitization and challenge. Expression of FOXA2, FOXA3, MUC5AC, and the highly IL-13-inducible gene CLCA1 was analyzed in airway biopsies from subjects with asthma and control subjects. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Expression of a Foxa2 transgene reduced allergen-induced mucous metaplasia by 45% compared with control transgenic mice (P < 0.05) whereas inactivation of Foxa3 had no detectable effects on mucous metaplasia. Expression of FOXA2 was reduced in subjects with asthma and was negatively correlated with MUC5AC and CLCA1 levels in subjects with asthma. In contrast, FOXA3 expression was not significantly correlated with MUC5AC and was positively correlated with CLCA1. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing Foxa2 expression reduced mucous metaplasia in an allergic mouse model. Subjects with asthma had decreased FOXA2 expression, suggesting that therapeutic approaches that increase FOXA2 expression or function could be beneficial for reducing mucus production in asthma. Unlike FOXA2, FOXA3 did not regulate mucous metaplasia.