SMAD Signaling Restricts Mucous Cell Differentiation In Human Airway Epithelium.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2019 Mar 08;:
Authors: Feldman MB, Wood M, Lapey A, Mou H
Mucin-secreting goblet cell metaplasia and hyperplasia (GCMH) is a common pathological phenotype in many human respiratory diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and infections. A better understanding of how goblet cell quantities or proportions in the airway epithelium are regulated may provide novel therapeutic targets to mitigate GCMH in these devastating diseases. We identify canonical SMAD signaling as the principle pathway restricting goblet cell differentiation in human airway epithelium. Differentiated goblet cells express low levels of phosphorylated SMAD. Accordingly, inhibition of SMAD signaling markedly amplifies GCMH induced by mucous mediators. In contrast, SMAD signaling activation impedes goblet cell generation and accelerates the resolution of preexisting GCMH. SMAD signaling inhibition can override the suppressive effects imposed by a GABAergic receptor inhibitor, suggesting the GABAergic pathway likely operates through inhibition of SMAD signaling in regulating mucous differentiation. Collectively, our data demonstrate that SMAD signaling plays a determining role in mucous cell differentiation and thus raises the possibility that dysregulation of this pathway contributes to respiratory pathophysiology during airway inflammation and pulmonary diseases. Additionally, our study also highlights the potential for SMAD modulation as a therapeutic target in mitigating GCMH.
PMID: 30848657 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]