The multifaceted roles of FOXM1 in pulmonary disease.
ABSTRACT: Forkhead box M1 (FOXM1), a transcriptional regulator of G1/S and G2/M transition and M phase progression in the cell cycle, plays a principal role in many physiological and pathological processes. A growing number of studies have focused on the relationship between abnormal FOXM1 expression and pulmonary diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, acute lung injury (ALI), pulmonary fibrosis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). These studies indicate that the FOXM1 regulatory network is a major predictor of poor outcomes, especially in lung cancer, and provide novel insight into various pulmonary diseases. For the first time, this review summarizes the mechanistic relationship between FOXM1 dysregulation and pulmonary diseases, the benefits of targeting abnormal FOXM1 expression, and the questions that remain to be addressed in the future.
Project description:Although aberrant alveolar myofibroblasts (AMYFs) proliferation and differentiation are often associated with abnormal lung development and diseases, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), epigenetic mechanisms regulating proliferation and differentiation of AMYFs remain poorly understood. Protein arginine methyltransferase 7 (PRMT7) is the only reported type III enzyme responsible for monomethylation of arginine residue on both histone and nonhistone substrates. Here we provide evidence for PRMT7's function in regulating AMYFs proliferation and differentiation during lung alveologenesis. In PRMT7-deficient mice, we found reduced AMYFs proliferation and differentiation, abnormal elastin deposition, and failure of alveolar septum formation. We further shown that oncogene forkhead box M1 (Foxm1) is a direct target of PRMT7 and that PRMT7-catalyzed monomethylation at histone H4 arginine 3 (H4R3me1) directly associate with chromatin of Foxm1 to activate its transcription, and thereby regulate of cell cycle-related genes to inhibit AMYFs proliferation and differentiation. Overexpression of Foxm1 in isolated myofibroblasts (MYFs) significantly rescued PRMT7-deficiency-induced cell proliferation and differentiation defects. Thus, our results reveal a novel epigenetic mechanism through which PRMT7-mediated histone arginine monomethylation activates Foxm1 transcriptional expression to regulate AMYFs proliferation and differentiation during lung alveologenesis and may represent a potential target for intervention in pulmonary diseases.
Project description:Endothelial autocrine signaling is essential to maintain vascular homeostasis. There is limited information about the role of endothelial autocrine signaling in regulating severe pulmonary vascular remodeling during the onset of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In this study, we employed the first severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) mouse model, Egln1Tie2Cre (Tie2Cre-mediated disruption of Egln1) mice, to identify the novel autocrine signaling mediating the pulmonary vascular endothelial cell (PVEC) proliferation and the pathogenesis of PAH. PVECs isolated from Egln1Tie2Cre lung expressed upregulation of many growth factors or angiocrine factors such as CXCL12, and exhibited pro-proliferative phenotype coincident with the upregulation of proliferation-specific transcriptional factor FoxM1. Treatment of CXCL12 on PVECs increased FoxM1 expression, which was blocked by CXCL12 receptor CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 in cultured human PVECs. The endothelial specific deletion of Cxcl12(Egln1/Cxcl12Tie2Cre) or AMD3100 treatment in Egln1Tie2Cre mice downregulated FoxM1 expression in vivo. We then generated and characterized a novel mouse model with endothelial specific FoxM1 deletion in Egln1Tie2Cre mice (Egln1/Foxm1Tie2Cre), and found that endothelial FoxM1 deletion reduced pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular systolic pressure. Together, our study identified a novel mechanism of endothelial autocrine signaling in regulating PVEC proliferation and pulmonary vascular remodeling in PAH.
Project description:Vascular smooth muscle cells from the pulmonary arteries (HPASMC) of subjects with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) exhibit hyperplastic growth. The PAH HPASMC display an increased sensitivity to fetal bovine serum (FBS) and undergo growth at a very low, 0.2%, FBS concentration. On the other hand, normal HPASMC (obtained from non-PAH donors) do not proliferate at low FBS (0.2%). A previous genomic study suggested that the nuclear factor, FOXM1 and the polo like kinase 1 (PLK1) are involved in promoting this hyperplastic growth of the PAH HPASMC. Here we find that limiting the action of FOXM1 or PLK1 not only restricts the hyperplastic proliferation of the PAH HPASMC but also modulates the FBS stimulated growth of normal HPASMC. The PAH HPASMC exhibit significantly elevated PLK1 and FOXM1 expression and decreased p27 (quiescence protein) levels compared to normal HPASMC. Regulation of the expression of FOXM1 and PLK1 is accompanied by the regulation of downstream expression of cell cycle components, Aurora B, cyclin B1 and cyclin D1. Expression of these cell cycle components is reversed by the knockdown of FOXM1 or PLK1 expression/activity. Furthermore, the knockdown of PLK1 expression lowers the protein level of FOXM1. On the other hand, inhibiting the action of FOXO1, a growth inhibitor, further increases the expression of FOXM1 in PAH HPASMC. Although PLK1 and FOXM1 clearly participate in PAH HPASMC hyperplasia, at this time it is not clear whether their increased activity is the primary driver of the hyperplastic behavior of the PAH HPASMC or merely a component of the pathway(s) leading to this response.
Project description:While the transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) is well known as a proto-oncogene, its potential role in lung fibroblast activation has never been explored. Here, we show that FOXM1 is more highly expressed in fibrotic than in normal lung fibroblasts in humans and mice. FOXM1 was required not only for cell proliferation in response to mitogens, but also for myofibroblast differentiation and apoptosis resistance elicited by TGF-?. The lipid mediator PGE2, acting via cAMP signaling, was identified as an endogenous negative regulator of FOXM1. Finally, genetic deletion of FOXM1 in fibroblasts or administration of the FOXM1 inhibitor Siomycin A in a therapeutic protocol attenuated bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Our results identify FOXM1 as a driver of lung fibroblast activation and underscore the therapeutic potential of targeting FOXM1 for pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:Alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) participate in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis, producing pro-inflammatory mediators and undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Herein, we demonstrated the critical role of Forkhead Box M1 (Foxm1) transcription factor in radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Foxm1 was induced in AECs following lung irradiation. Transgenic expression of an activated Foxm1 transcript in AECs enhanced radiation-induced pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis, and increased the expression of IL-1β, Ccl2, Cxcl5, Snail1, Zeb1, Zeb2 and Foxf1. Conditional deletion of Foxm1 from respiratory epithelial cells decreased radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis and prevented the increase in EMT-associated gene expression. siRNA-mediated inhibition of Foxm1 prevented TGF-β-induced EMT in vitro. Foxm1 bound to and increased promoter activity of the Snail1 gene, a critical transcriptional regulator of EMT. Expression of Snail1 restored TGF-β-induced loss of E-cadherin in Foxm1-deficient cells in vitro. Lineage-tracing studies demonstrated that Foxm1 increased EMT during radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis in vivo. Foxm1 is required for radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis by enhancing the expression of genes critical for lung inflammation and EMT.
Project description:Macrophages have a key role in tumor-associated pulmonary inflammation that supports the proliferation of tumor cells and promotes lung tumor growth. Although increased numbers of tumor-associated macrophages are linked to poor prognosis in lung cancer patients, little is known regarding the transcriptional mechanisms controlling recruitment of macrophages during lung tumorigenesis. Forkhead Box m1 (Foxm1) transcription factor is induced in multiple cell types within tumor lesions and its increased expression is associated with poor prognosis in patients with lung adenocarcinomas. To determine the role of Foxm1 in recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages, a mouse line with macrophage-specific Foxm1 deletion was generated (macFoxm1(-/-)). Lung tumorigenesis was induced using a 3-methylcholanthrene/butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT; 3,5-di-t-butyl-4-hydroxytoluene) tumor initiation/promotion protocol. Ablation of Foxm1 in macrophages reduced the number and size of lung tumors in macFoxm1(-/-) mice. Decreased tumorigenesis was associated with diminished proliferation of tumor cells and decreased recruitment of macrophages during the early stages of tumor formation. The expression levels of the pro-inflammatory genes iNOS, Cox-2, interleukin-1b (IL-1b) and IL-6, as well as the migration-related genes macrophage inflammatory protein-1 (MIP-1?), MIP-2 and MMP-12, were decreased in macrophages isolated from macFoxm1(-/-) mice. Migration of Foxm1-deficient macrophages was reduced in vitro. The chemokine receptors responsible for monocyte recruitment to the lung, CX(3)CR1 and CXCR4, were decreased in Foxm1-deficient monocytes. In co-transfection experiments, Foxm1 directly bound to and transcriptionally activated the CX(3)CR1 promoter. Adoptive transfer of wild-type monocytes to macFoxm1(-/-) mice restored BHT-induced pulmonary inflammation to the levels observed in control mice. Expression of Foxm1 in macrophages is required for pulmonary inflammation, recruitment of macrophages into tumor sites and lung tumor growth.
Project description:Radiation therapy is critical for the control of many tumors and lung is an important dose-limiting organ that impacts radiation dose prescribed to avoid irreversible pulmonary fibrosis in cancer survivors. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, irreversible lung disease caused by aberrantly activated lung (myo)fibroblasts. The presence of pro-fibrotic, apoptosis-resistant fibroblasts in IPF promotes progressive fibrosis and may have a role in other diseases, if these resistant cells are selected for as a consequence of treatment. However, the pathological response of IPF fibroblasts to radiation compared to non-IPF lung fibroblasts is not known. To address this, we examined fibroblast viability following radiation in lung fibroblasts from IPF and non-IPF patients and the underlying mechanism that protects IPF fibroblasts from radiation-induced death. IPF fibroblasts are significantly more resistant to apoptosis compared to non-IPF lung fibroblasts, suggesting that resistance to radiation-induced cell death is a predominant mechanism leading to lung fibrosis. Analysis of ?H2AX induction demonstrated that radiation-induced DNA damage is reduced in IPF fibroblasts and correlates to the activation of the transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FoxM1) and subsequent upregulation of DNA repair proteins RAD51 and BRCA2. FoxM1 activation occurs secondary to FoxO3a suppression in IPF fibroblasts while restoration of FoxO3a function sensitizes IPF fibroblasts to radiation-induced cell death and downregulates FoxM1, RAD51, and BRCA2. Our findings support that increased FoxO3a/FoxM1-dependent DNA repair may be integral to the preservation of death-resistant fibrotic fibroblasts after radiation and that selective targeting of radioresistant fibroblasts may mitigate fibrosis.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease, and no effective treatments are available. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery remodeling, including smooth muscle cell proliferation, contributes to PAH, but the exact mechanisms underlying this abnormal process are largely undefined. The forkhead box M1 (FoxM1) transcription factor regulates cancer cell growth by modulating gene expression critical for cell cycle progression. Here, we report for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a novel function of FoxM1 in the hypoxia-stimulated proliferation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (HPASMCs). Exposure to hypoxia caused a marked up-regulation of FoxM1 gene expression, mainly at the transcription level, and this induction correlated with HPASMC cell proliferation. The knockdown of FoxM1 inhibited the hypoxia-stimulated proliferation of HPASMCs. We found that the knockdown of HIF-2α, but not HIF-1α, diminished FoxM1 induction in response to hypoxia. However, the knockdown of FoxM1 did not alter expression levels of HIF-2α or HIF-1α, suggesting that HIF-2α is an upstream regulator of FoxM1. Furthermore, the knockdown of FoxM1 prevented the hypoxia-induced expression of aurora A kinase and cyclin D1. Collectively, our results suggest that hypoxia induces FoxM1 gene expression in an HIF-2α-dependent pathway, thereby promoting HPASMC proliferation.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease with high mortality and is refractory to treatment. Pulmonary macrophages can both promote and repress fibrosis, however molecular mechanisms regulating macrophage functions during fibrosis remain poorly understood. FOXM1 is a transcription factor and is not expressed in quiescent lungs. Herein, we show that FOXM1 is highly expressed in pulmonary macrophages within fibrotic lungs of IPF patients and mouse fibrotic lungs. Macrophage-specific deletion of Foxm1 in mice (myFoxm1-/-) exacerbated pulmonary fibrosis. Inactivation of FOXM1 in vivo and in vitro increased p38 MAPK signaling in macrophages and decreased DUSP1, a negative regulator of p38 MAPK pathway. FOXM1 directly activated Dusp1 promoter. Overexpression of DUSP1 in FOXM1-deficient macrophages prevented activation of p38 MAPK pathway. Adoptive transfer of wild-type monocytes to myFoxm1-/- mice alleviated bleomycin-induced fibrosis. Altogether, contrary to known pro-fibrotic activities in lung epithelium and fibroblasts, FOXM1 has anti-fibrotic function in macrophages by regulating p38 MAPK.
Project description:Vascular endothelial cells provide essential support to the tumor microenvironment, but little is known about the transcriptional control of endothelial functions during tumorigenesis. Here we define a critical role for the Forkhead transcription factor FoxM1 in modulating the development of tumor-associated endothelial cells. Pulmonary tumorigenesis induced by urethane administration was compared in mice genetically deleted for FoxM1 in endothelial cells (enFoxm1(-/-) mice). Notably, lung tumor number and size were increased in enFoxm1(-/-) mice. Increased tumorigenesis was associated with increased proliferation of tumor cells and increased expression of c-Myc and cyclin D1. Furthermore, perivascular infiltration by inflammatory cells was elevated and inflammatory cells in BAL fluid were increased. Expression of Flk-1 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2) and FoxF1, known regulators of pulmonary inflammation, was decreased in enFoxm1(-/-) mice. siRNA-mediated knockdown of FoxM1 in endothelial cells reduced Flk-1 and FoxF1 expression, which was driven by direct transcriptional induction by FoxM1 as target genes. Endothelial specific deletion of FoxM1 in vivo or in vitro also decreased expression of Sfrp1 (secreted frizzled-related protein 1), a known inhibitor of canonical Wnt signaling, in a manner that was associated with increased Wnt signaling. Taken together, our results suggest that endothelial-specific expression of FoxM1 limits lung inflammation and canonical Wnt signaling in lung epithelial cells, thereby restricting lung tumorigenesis.