Assessment of Brd4 inhibition in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lung fibroblasts and in vivo models of lung fibrosis

Xiaoyan Tang, Ruoqi Peng, Jonathan E Phillips, Jeremy Deguzman, Yonglin Ren, Subramanium Apparsundaram, Qi Luo, Carla M Bauer, Maria E Fuentes, Julie A DeMartino, Gaurav Tyagi, Rosario Garrido, Cory M Hogaboam, Christopher P Denton, Alan M Holmes, Christopher Kitson, Christopher S Stevenson, David C Budd
American Journal of Pathology 2013, 183 (2): 470-9
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic lung disease of high unmet medical need. Although bromodomain (Brd) and extra terminal domain isoforms have recently been implicated in mediating inflammatory and oncologic indications, their roles in lung fibrosis have not been comprehensively assessed. We investigated the role of Brd on the profibrotic responses of lung fibroblasts (LFs) in patients with rapidly progressing IPF and a mouse bleomycin model of lung fibrosis. The enhanced migration, proliferation, and IL-6 release observed in LFs from patients with rapidly progressing IPF are attenuated by pharmacologic inhibition of Brd4. These changes are accompanied by enhanced histone H4 lysine5 acetylation and association of Brd4 with genes involved in the profibrotic responses in IPF LFs as demonstrated using chromatin immunoprecipitation and quantitative PCR. Oral administration of 200 mg/kg per day Brd4 inhibitor JQ1 in a therapeutic dosing regimen substantially attenuated lung fibrosis induced by bleomycin in C57BL/6 mice. In conclusion, this study shows that the Brd4 inhibitor JQ1, administered in a therapeutic dosage, is capable of inhibiting the profibrotic effects of IPF LFs and attenuates bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice. These results suggest that Brd4 inhibitors may represent a novel therapy for the treatment of rapidly progressing IPF.

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