Oxidative stress, a pathogenetic factor in many conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arises due to accumulation of reactive oxygen species and defective antioxidant defenses in the lungs. The latter is due, at least in part, to impaired activation of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor involved in the activation of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes. The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) proteins, Brd2, Brd3, Brd4, and BrdT, bind to acetylated lysine residues on histone or nonhistone proteins recruiting transcriptional regulators and thus activating or repressing gene transcription. We investigated whether BET proteins modulate the regulation of Nrf2-dependent gene expression in primary human airway smooth muscle cells and the human monocytic cell line, THP-1. Inhibition of BET protein bromodomains using the inhibitor JQ1+ or attenuation of Brd2 and Brd4 expression using small interfering RNA led to activation of Nrf2-dependent transcription and expression of the antioxidant proteins heme oxygenase-1, NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1, and glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit. Also, JQ1+ prevented H2O2-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species production. By coimmunoprecipitation, BET proteins were found to be complexed with Nrf2, whereas chromatin-immunoprecipitation studies indicated recruitment of Brd2 and Brd4 to Nrf2-binding sites on the promoters of heme oxygenase-1 and NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1. BET proteins, particularly Brd2 and Brd4, may play a key role in the regulation of Nrf2-dependent antioxidant gene transcription and are hence an important target for augmenting antioxidant responses in oxidative stress-mediated diseases.
Life expectancy is assumed to rise continuously and consequently global burden of age-associated diseases is expected to increase. All vital organs begin to lose some function during aging with different rates, and the same happens on the lung. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, which progresses very slowly and the majority of patients are therefore elderly. COPD is a major and increasing global health problem with enormous amount of expenditure of indirect/direct health care costs, and therefore, there is urgent need to clarify the molecular mechanism of COPD and develop novel treatments. We here hypothesize that environmental gases, such as cigarette smoke and kitchen pollutants, may accelerate the aging of lung or worsen aging-related events in the lung, leading to defective resolution of inflammation, reduced anti-oxidant capacity and defective disposal of abnormal proteins, and this consequently induces progression of COPD. Recent studies identified some anti-aging small molecules (geroprotectors) that may open up new avenues for the treatment of COPD.
Anti-oxidant capacity is crucial defence against environmental or endogenous oxidative stress. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a redox-sensitive transcription factor that plays a key defensive role against oxidative and cytotoxic stress and cellular senescence. However, Nrf2 signalling is impaired in several aging-related diseases, such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD), cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, novel therapeutics that enhance Nrf2 signalling are an attractive approach to treat these diseases.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in smokers, particularly in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are required for endothelial homeostasis, and their dysfunction contributes to CVD. To investigate EPC dysfunction in smokers, we isolated and expanded blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) from peripheral blood samples from healthy non-smokers, healthy smokers and COPD patients. BOEC from smokers and COPD patients showed increased DNA double-strand breaks and senescence compared to non-smokers. Senescence negatively correlated with the expression and activity of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1), a protein deacetylase that protects against DNA damage and cellular senescence. Inhibition of DNA damage response by silencing of ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) kinase resulted in up-regulation of SIRT1 expression and decreased senescence. Treatment of BOEC from COPD patients with the SIRT1 activator resveratrol or an ATM inhibitor (KU-55933) also rescued the senescent phenotype. Using an in vivo mouse model of angiogenesis, we demonstrated that senescent BOEC from COPD patients are dysfunctional, displaying impaired angiogenic ability and increased apoptosis compared to cells from healthy non-smokers. Therefore this study identifies epigenetic regulation of DNA damage and senescence as pathogenetic mechanisms linked to endothelial progenitors dysfunction in smokers and COPD patients. These defects may contribute to vascular disease and cardiovascular events in smokers, and could therefore constitute therapeutic targets for intervention. Stem Cells 2013.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is caused primarily by cigarette smoking, is a major health problem worldwide. The progressive decline in lung function that occurs in COPD is a result of persistent inflammation of the airways and destruction of the lung parenchyma. Despite the key role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of COPD, treatment with corticosteroids - normally highly effective antiinflammatory drugs - has little therapeutic benefit. This corticosteroid resistance is largely caused by inactivation of histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), which is critical for the transrepressive activity of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) that mediates the antiinflammatory effect of corticosteroids. Here, we show that in alveolar macrophages from patients with COPD, S-nitrosylation of HDAC2 is increased and that this abolishes its GR-transrepression activity and promotes corticosteroid insensitivity. Cys-262 and Cys-274 of HDAC2 were found to be the targets of S-nitrosylation, and exogenous glutathione treatment of macrophages from individuals with COPD restored HDAC2 activity. Treatment with sulforaphane, a small-molecule activator of the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), was also able to denitrosylate HDAC2, restoring dexamethasone sensitivity in alveolar macrophages from patients with COPD. These effects of sulforaphane were glutathione dependent. We conclude that NRF2 is a novel drug target for reversing corticosteroid resistance in COPD and other corticosteroid-resistant inflammatory diseases.
Corticosteroid insensitivity is a major barrier of treatment for some chronic inflammatory diseases, such as severe asthma, but the molecular mechanism of the insensitivity has not been fully elucidated. The object of this study is to investigate the role of protein phosphate 2A (PP2A), a serine/threonine phosphatase, on corticosteroid sensitivity in severe asthma.
Corticosteroid insensitivity represents a major barrier to the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe asthma. It is caused by oxidative stress, leading to reduced histone deacetylase-2 (HDAC2) function through activation of phosphoinositide-3-kinase-? (PI3K?). The tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline has been identified in high-throughput screens as an agent that increases corticosteroid responsiveness. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular mechanism whereby nortriptyline increases corticosteroid sensitivity. Phosphorylation of Akt, a footprint of PI3K activation, and HDAC activity were evaluated by Western blotting and fluorescent activity assay in U937 monocytic cells. Corticosteroid sensitivity was evaluated by the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF?)-induced interleukin 8 (IL-8) production by budesonide. Hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) or cigarette smoke extract (CSE) increased the level of phosphorylated Akt (pAkt) and reduced HDAC activity. Pretreatment with nortriptyline inhibited pAkt induced by CSE and H(2)O(2) as well as restored HDAC activity that had been decreased by H(2)O(2) and CSE. In addition, nortriptyline inhibited PI3K? activity, but had no effect on the PI3K? and PI3K? isoforms. Although CSE reduced the effects of budesonide on TNF?-induced IL-8 production in U937 cells, nortriptyline reversed CSE-induced corticosteroid insensitivity. Nortriptyline restores corticosteroid sensitivity induced by oxidative stress via direct inhibition of PI3K? and is a potential treatment for corticosteroid-insensitive diseases such as COPD and severe asthma.
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a crucial role in cellular defence against oxidative stress by inducing the expression of multiple anti-oxidant genes. However, where high levels of oxidative stress are observed, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Nrf2 activity is reduced, although the molecular mechanism for this defect is uncertain. Here, we show that down-regulation of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 2 causes Nrf2 instability, resulting in reduced anti-oxidant gene expression and increase sensitivity to oxidative stress. Although Nrf2 protein was clearly stabilized after hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) stimulation in a bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS2B), Nrf2 stability was decreased and Nrf2 acetylation increased in the presence of an HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA). TSA also reduced Nrf2-regulated heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in these cells, and this was confirmed in acute cigarette-smoke exposed mice in vivo. HDAC2 knock-down by RNA interference resulted in reduced H(2)O(2)-induced Nrf2 protein stability and activity in BEAS2B cells, whereas HDAC1 knockdown had no effect. Furthermore, monocyte-derived macrophages obtained from healthy volunteers (non-smokers and smokers) and COPD patients showed a significant correlation between HDAC2 expression and Nrf2 expression (r=0.92, p<0.0001). Thus, reduced HDAC2 activity in COPD may account for increased Nrf2 acetylation, reduced Nrf2 stability and impaired anti oxidant defences.
Corticosteroids are the most potent anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of mild to moderate asthma. However, a small percentage of the asthma population (< 10%) do not respond well, or at all, to corticosteroid therapy, and this severe corticosteroid-refractory asthma contributes to more than 50% of health care expenditure for all asthma because these is no appropriate pharmacological therapy.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) progresses very slowly and the majority of patients are therefore elderly. COPD is characterized by an abnormal persistent inflammatory response to noxious environmental stimuli and there are increasing evidences for a close relationship between premature aging and chronic inflammatory diseases. Thus, COPD is considered to be a disease of an accelerating aging. In this review, we collected the evidence for roles of aging on pathogenesis of COPD and considered future therapeutic strategy for COPD based on this senescence hypothesis. Since calorie restriction has been proved to extend lifespan, many efforts were made to clarify the molecular mechanism of aging. Aging is defined as the progressive decline of homeostasis that occurs after the reproductive phase of life is complete, leading to an increasing risk of disease or death due to impaired DNA repair after damage by oxidative stress or telomere shortening as a result of repeated cell division. During aging, pulmonary function progressively deteriorates; innate immunity is impaired and pulmonary inflammation increases, accompanied by structural changes, such as an enlargement of airspaces. Noxious environmental gases, such as cigarette smoke, may worsen these aging-related events in the lung or accelerate aging of the lung due to reduction in anti-aging molecules and/or stimulation of aging molecules. Aging signaling are complex but conserved in divert species, such as worm, fruit fry, rodent and humans. Especially the insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling was well documented. Geroprotectors are therapeutics that affect the root cause of aging and age-related diseases, and thus prolong the life-span of animals. Most of geroprotectors such as melatonin, metformin, rapamycin and resveratrol are anti-oxidant or anti-aging molecule regulators. Therefore, geroprotection for the lung might be an attractive approach for the treatment of COPD by preventing premature aging of lung.
Severe asthma accounts for a small number of asthmatics but represents a disproportionate cost to health care systems. The underlying mechanism in severe asthma remains unknown but several mechanisms are likely to be involved because of a very heterogeneous profile. We investigated the effects of a p38MAPK inhibitor in corticosteroid sensitivity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from severe asthmatics and the profile of its responders.
Long-acting ?2-adrenoceptor agonists (LABAs) are reported to enhance anti-inflammatory effects of corticosteroids in vitro and in vivo, although the molecular mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. We investigated the role of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) on regulation of corticosteroid sensitivity via inhibition of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) phosphorylation as the target of formoterol, an LABA. Corticosteroid sensitivity was determined as IC50 to dexamethasone (Dex) on TNF?-induced IL-8 release in a U937 monocytic cell line (Dex-IC50). Phosphorylation levels of GR-Ser226 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were determined by western-blotting. Phosphatase activity of immunopurified PP2A was measured by fluorescence-based assay. Exposure to IL-2/IL-4 for 48 h decreased Dex sensitivity with a concomitant increase of GR phosphorylation at Ser226 with JNK1 activation. Formoterol restored Dex sensitivity by inhibiting phosphorylation of GR-Ser226 and JNK1. PP2A inhibition by okadaic acid, a phosphatase inhibitor, abrogated formoterol-mediated effects. In addition, formoterol enhanced PP2A activity in intact or IL-2/IL-4 treated U937 cells and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In addition, PP2A activation by formoterol was not antagonized by ICI-118551, and formoterol could activate PP2A directly in cell free system. Taken together, formoterol increases corticosteroid sensitivity via activation of PP2A in receptor independent manner, explaining its benefits as add-on therapy for the treatment of corticosteroid-insensitive diseases, such as severe asthma.
Parental smoking is known to worsen asthma symptoms in children and make them refractory to asthma treatment, but the molecular mechanism is unclear. Recently, oxidative stress from tobacco smoke has been reported to impair histone deacetylase-2 (HDAC2) via phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt activation and thus to reduce corticosteroid sensitivity. The aim of this study is to investigate passive smoking dependent molecular abnormalities in alveolar macrophages by comparing passive smoke exposed children and non-passive smoke exposed children with uncontrolled severe asthma.
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