Nox4 mediates TGF-beta1-induced retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation, proliferation, and hypertrophy in human airway smooth muscle cells

Anne Sturrock, Thomas P Huecksteadt, Kimberly Norman, Karl Sanders, Thomas M Murphy, Pasquale Chitano, Kimberly Wilson, John R Hoidal, Thomas P Kennedy
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2007, 292 (6): L1543-55
Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) plays a pivotal role in increasing airway smooth muscle mass in severe asthma by inducing proliferation and hypertrophy of human airway smooth muscle. The mechanism(s) for these effects of TGF-beta1 have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrate that TGF-beta1 is a potent inducer of expression of the nonphagocyte NAD(P)H oxidase catalytic homolog Nox4, diphenylene iodonium-inhibitable reactive oxygen species production, proliferation, and hypertrophy in cultured human airway smooth muscle cells. By confocal microscopy, TGF-beta1-induced Nox4 was localized with the endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus, implying a role for Nox4 in regulation of both the cell cycle and protein synthesis. Consistent with this hypothesis, TGF-beta1 increased retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation at both Ser807/811 and Ser780. Silencing Nox4 prevented TGF-beta1-mediated retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation, proliferation, and cell hypertrophy. TGF-beta1 also increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein-1 at Thr37/46, and this was likewise blocked by silencing Nox4. This is the first report to suggest a functional role for Nox4 in cell cycle transition and to demonstrate that Nox4 influences the pathobiochemistry of asthma by generating reactive oxygen species that promote TGF-beta1-induced proliferation and hypertrophy of human airway smooth muscle.

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