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Endoplasmic reticulum chaperone GRP78 mediates cigarette smoke-induced necroptosis and injury in bronchial epithelium

Authors Wang Y, Zhou JS, Xu XC, Li ZY, Chen HP, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH, Chen ZH

Received 1 September 2017

Accepted for publication 4 December 2017

Published 9 February 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 571—581


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai

Yong Wang,1 Jie-Sen Zhou,1 Xu-Chen Xu,1 Zhou-Yang Li,1 Hai-Pin Chen,1 Song-Min Ying,1 Wen Li,1 Hua-Hao Shen,1,2 Zhi-Hua Chen1

1Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 2State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Bronchial epithelial cell death and airway inflammation induced by cigarette smoke (CS) have been involved in the pathogenesis of COPD. GRP78, belonging to heat shock protein 70 family, has been implicated in cell death and inflammation, while little is known about its roles in COPD. Here, we demonstrate that GRP78 regulates CS-induced necroptosis and injury in bronchial epithelial cells.
Materials and methods: GRP78 and necroptosis markers were examined in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cell line, primary mouse tracheal epithelial cells, and mouse lungs. siRNA targeting GRP78 gene and necroptosis inhibitor were used. Expression of inflammatory cytokines, mucin MUC5AC, and related signaling pathways were detected.
Results: Exposure to CS significantly increased the expression of GRP78 and necroptosis markers in HBE cell line, primary mouse tracheal epithelial cells, and mouse lungs. Inhibition of GRP78 significantly suppressed CS extract (CSE)-induced necroptosis. Furthermore, GRP78–necroptosis cooperatively regulated CSE-induced inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL6), IL8, and mucin MUC5AC in HBE cells, likely through the activation of nuclear factor (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathways, respectively.
Conclusion: Taken together, our results demonstrate that GRP78 promotes CSE-induced inflammatory response and mucus hyperproduction in airway epithelial cells, likely through upregulation of necroptosis and subsequent activation of NF-κB and AP-1 pathways. Thus, inhibition of GRP78 and/or inhibition of necroptosis could be the effective therapeutic approaches for the treatment of COPD.

Keywords: cigarette smoke, airway epithelium, glucose-regulated protein 78, necroptosis, airway injury

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