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We hypothesized that distinct protein expression features of benign and malignant pulmonary nodules may reveal novel candidate biomarkers for the early detection of lung cancer. We performed proteome profiling by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to characterize 34 resected benign lung nodules, 24 untreated lung adenocarcinomas (ADCs), and biopsies of bronchial epithelium. Group comparisons identified 65 proteins that differentiate nodules from ADCs and normal bronchial epithelium and 66 proteins that differentiate ADCs from nodules and normal bronchial epithelium. We developed a multiplexed parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) assay to quantify a subset of 43 of these candidate biomarkers in an independent cohort of 20 benign nodules, 21 ADCs, and 20 normal bronchial biopsies. PRM analyses confirmed significant nodule-specific abundance of 10 proteins including ALOX5, ALOX5AP, CCL19, CILP1, COL5A2, ITGB2, ITGAX, PTPRE, S100A12, and SLC2A3 and significant ADC-specific abundance of CEACAM6, CRABP2, LAD1, PLOD2, and TMEM110-MUSTN1. Immunohistochemistry analyses for seven selected proteins performed on an independent set of tissue microarrays confirmed nodule-specific expression of ALOX5, ALOX5AP, ITGAX, and SLC2A3 and cancer-specific expression of CEACAM6. These studies illustrate the value of global and targeted proteomics in a systematic process to identify and qualify candidate biomarkers for noninvasive molecular diagnosis of lung cancer.
The molecular determinants of lung cancer risk remain largely unknown. Airway epithelial cells are prone to assault by risk factors and are considered to be the primary cell type involved in the field of cancerization. To investigate risk-associated changes in the bronchial epithelium proteome that may offer new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer, proteins were identified in the airway epithelial cells of bronchial brushing specimens from risk-stratified individuals by shotgun proteomics. Differential expression of selected proteins was validated by parallel reaction monitoring mass spectrometry in an independent set of individual bronchial brushings. We identified 2,869 proteins, of which 312 proteins demonstrated a trend in expression. Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in high-risk individuals. Glucose consumption and lactate production were increased in human bronchial epithelial BEAS2B cells treated with cigarette smoke condensate for 7 months. Increased lipid biosynthetic capacity and net reductive carboxylation were revealed by metabolic flux analyses of [U-C] glutamine in this in vitro model, suggesting profound metabolic reprogramming in the airway epithelium of high-risk individuals. These results provide a rationale for the development of potentially new chemopreventive strategies and selection of patients for surveillance programs.
The pseudostratified epithelium of the lung contains ciliated and secretory luminal cells and basal stem/progenitor cells. To identify signals controlling basal cell behavior we screened factors that alter their self-renewal and differentiation in a clonal organoid (tracheosphere) assay. This revealed that inhibitors of the canonical BMP signaling pathway promote proliferation but do not affect lineage choice, whereas exogenous Bmp4 inhibits proliferation and differentiation. We therefore followed changes in BMP pathway components in vivo in the mouse trachea during epithelial regeneration from basal cells after injury. The findings suggest that BMP signaling normally constrains proliferation at steady state and this brake is released transiently during repair by the upregulation of endogenous BMP antagonists. Early in repair, the packing of epithelial cells along the basal lamina increases, but density is later restored by active extrusion of apoptotic cells. Systemic administration of the BMP antagonist LDN-193189 during repair initially increases epithelial cell number but, following the shedding phase, normal density is restored. Taken together, these results reveal crucial roles for both BMP signaling and cell shedding in homeostasis of the respiratory epithelium.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
BACKGROUND - The Lung Cancer Risk Test (LCRT) trial is a prospective cohort study comparing lung cancer incidence among persons with a positive or negative value for the LCRT, a 15 gene test measured in normal bronchial epithelial cells (NBEC). The purpose of this article is to describe the study design, primary endpoint, and safety; baseline characteristics of enrolled individuals; and establishment of a bio-specimen repository.
METHODS/DESIGN - Eligible participants were aged 50-90 years, current or former smokers with 20 pack-years or more cigarette smoking history, free of lung cancer, and willing to undergo bronchoscopic brush biopsy for NBEC sample collection. NBEC, peripheral blood samples, baseline CT, and medical and demographic data were collected from each subject.
DISCUSSION - Over a two-year span (2010-2012), 403 subjects were enrolled at 12 sites. At baseline 384 subjects remained in study and mean age and smoking history were 62.9 years and 50.4 pack-years respectively, with 34% current smokers. Obstructive lung disease (FEV1/FVC <0.7) was present in 157 (54%). No severe adverse events were associated with bronchoscopic brushing. An NBEC and matched peripheral blood bio-specimen repository was established. The demographic composition of the enrolled group is representative of the population for which the LCRT is intended. Specifically, based on baseline population characteristics we expect lung cancer incidence in this cohort to be representative of the population eligible for low-dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening. Collection of NBEC by bronchial brush biopsy/bronchoscopy was safe and well-tolerated in this population. These findings support the feasibility of testing LCRT clinical utility in this prospective study. If validated, the LCRT has the potential to significantly narrow the population of individuals requiring annual low-dose helical CT screening for early detection of lung cancer and delay the onset of screening for individuals with results indicating low lung cancer risk. For these individuals, the small risk incurred by undergoing once in a lifetime bronchoscopic sample collection for LCRT may be offset by a reduction in their CT-related risks. The LCRT biospecimen repository will enable additional studies of genetic basis for COPD and/or lung cancer risk.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - The LCRT Study, NCT 01130285, was registered with Clinicaltrials.gov on May 24, 2010.
Although numerous studies have demonstrated a critical role for canonical NF-κB signaling in inflammation and disease, the function of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway remains ill-defined. In lung tissue from patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, we identified increased expression of the noncanonical pathway component p100/p52. To investigate the effects of p52 expression in vivo, we generated a novel transgenic mouse model with inducible expression of p52 in Clara cell secretory protein-expressing airway epithelial cells. Although p52 overexpression alone did not cause significant inflammation, p52 overexpression caused increased lung inflammation, injury, and mortality following intratracheal delivery of Escherichia coli LPS. No differences in cytokine/chemokine expression were measured between p52-overexpressing mice and controls, but increased apoptosis of Clara cell secretory protein-positive airway epithelial cells was observed in transgenic mice after LPS stimulation. In vitro studies in lung epithelial cells showed that p52 overexpression reduced cell survival and increased the expression of several proapoptotic genes during cellular stress. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a novel role for p52 in cell survival/apoptosis of airway epithelial cells and implicate noncanonical NF-κB signaling in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, is a leading cause of lower respiratory illness. Although receptor binding is thought to initiate fusion at the plasma membrane for paramyxoviruses, the entry mechanism for HMPV is largely uncharacterized. Here we sought to determine whether HMPV initiates fusion at the plasma membrane or following internalization. To study the HMPV entry process in human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells, we used fluorescence microscopy, an R18-dequenching fusion assay, and developed a quantitative, fluorescence microscopy assay to follow virus binding, internalization, membrane fusion, and visualize the cellular site of HMPV fusion. We found that HMPV particles are internalized into human bronchial epithelial cells before fusing with endosomes. Using chemical inhibitors and RNA interference, we determined that HMPV particles are internalized via clathrin-mediated endocytosis in a dynamin-dependent manner. HMPV fusion and productive infection are promoted by RGD-binding integrin engagement, internalization, actin polymerization, and dynamin. Further, HMPV fusion is pH-independent, although infection with rare strains is modestly inhibited by RNA interference or chemical inhibition of endosomal acidification. Thus, HMPV can enter via endocytosis, but the viral fusion machinery is not triggered by low pH. Together, our results indicate that HMPV is capable of entering host cells by multiple pathways, including membrane fusion from endosomal compartments.
BACKGROUND - Bordetella pertussis colonizes the human respiratory mucosa. Most studies on B. pertussis adherence have relied on cultured mammalian cells that lack key features present in differentiated human airway cells or on animal models that are not natural hosts of B. pertussis. The objectives of this work were to evaluate B. pertussis infection in highly differentiated human airway cells in vitro and to show the role of B. pertussis fimbriae in cell adherence.
METHODS - Primary human airway epithelial (PHAE) cells from human bronchi and a human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cell line were grown in vitro under air-liquid interface conditions.
RESULTS - PHAE and HBE cells infected with B. pertussis wild-type strain revealed bacterial adherence to the apical surface of cells, bacteria-induced cytoskeleton changes, and cell detachment. Mutations in the major fimbrial subunits Fim2/3 or in the minor fimbrial adhesin subunit FimD affected B. pertussis adherence to predominantly HBE cells. This cell model recapitulates the morphologic features of the human airway infected by B. pertussis and confirms the role of fimbriae in B. pertussis adherence. Furthermore, HBE cells show that fimbrial subunits, and specifically FimD adhesin, are critical in B. pertussis adherence to airway cells.
CONCLUSIONS - The relevance of this model to study host-parasite interaction in pertussis lies in the striking physiologic and morphologic similarity between the PHAE and HBE cells and the human airway ciliated and goblet cells in vivo. These cells can proliferate in vitro, differentiate, and express the same genetic profile as human respiratory cells in vivo.
The respiratory mucosa is a major site for pathogen invasion and, hence, a site requiring constant immune surveillance. The type I, semi-invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells are enriched within the lung vasculature. Despite optimal positioning, the role of NKT cells in respiratory infectious diseases remains poorly understood. Hence, we assessed their function in a murine model of pulmonary tularemia--because tularemia is a sepsis-like proinflammatory disease and NKT cells are known to control the cellular and humoral responses underlying sepsis. Here we show for the first time that respiratory infection with Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain resulted in rapid accumulation of NKT cells within the lung interstitium. Activated NKT cells produced interferon-γ and promoted both local and systemic proinflammatory responses. Consistent with these results, NKT cell-deficient mice showed reduced inflammatory cytokine and chemokine response yet they survived the infection better than their wild type counterparts. Strikingly, NKT cell-deficient mice had increased lymphocytic infiltration in the lungs that organized into tertiary lymphoid structures resembling induced bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT) at the peak of infection. Thus, NKT cell activation by F. tularensis infection hampers iBALT formation and promotes a systemic proinflammatory response, which exacerbates severe pulmonary tularemia-like disease in mice.
Tissue factor (TF) initiates the extrinsic coagulation cascade in response to tissue injury, leading to local fibrin deposition. Low levels of TF in mice are associated with increased severity of acute lung injury (ALI) after intratracheal LPS administration. However, the cellular sources of the TF required for protection from LPS-induced ALI remain unknown. In the current study, transgenic mice with cell-specific deletions of TF in the lung epithelium or myeloid cells were treated with intratracheal LPS to determine the cellular sources of TF important in direct ALI. Cell-specific deletion of TF in the lung epithelium reduced total lung TF expression to 39% of wild-type (WT) levels at baseline and to 29% of WT levels after intratracheal LPS. In contrast, there was no reduction of TF with myeloid cell TF deletion. Mice lacking myeloid cell TF did not differ from WT mice in coagulation, inflammation, permeability, or hemorrhage. However, mice lacking lung epithelial TF had increased tissue injury, impaired activation of coagulation in the airspace, disrupted alveolar permeability, and increased alveolar hemorrhage after intratracheal LPS. Deletion of epithelial TF did not affect alveolar permeability in an indirect model of ALI caused by systemic LPS infusion. These studies demonstrate that the lung epithelium is the primary source of TF in the lung, contributing 60-70% of total lung TF, and that lung epithelial, but not myeloid, TF may be protective in direct ALI.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic progressive lung disease characterized by the development of subpleural foci of myofibroblasts that contribute to the exuberant fibrosis. Recent studies revealed that pleural mesothelial cells (PMCs) undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and play a pivotal role in IPF. In animal model, bleomycin induces pulmonary fibrosis exhibiting subpleural fibrosis similar to what is seen in human IPF. It is not known yet whether bleomycin induces EMT in PMCs. In the present study, PMCs were cultured and treated with bleomycin. The protein levels of collagen-I, mesenchymal phenotypic markers (vimentin and α-smooth muscle actin), and epithelial phenotypic markers (cytokeratin-8 and E-cadherin) were measured by Western blot. PMC migration was evaluated using wound-healing assay of culture PMCs in vitro, and in vivo by monitoring the localization of PMC marker, calretinin, in the lung sections of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. The results showed that bleomycin induced increases in collagen-I synthesis in PMC. Bleomycin induced significant increases in mesenchymal phenotypic markers and decreases in epithelial phenotypic markers in PMC, and promoted PMC migration in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, TGF-β1-Smad2/3 signaling pathway involved in the EMT of PMC was demonstrated. Taken together, our results indicate that bleomycin induces characteristic changes of EMT in PMC and the latter contributes to subpleural fibrosis.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.