High-Mobility Group Box 1 Mediates Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Pulmonary Fibrosis Involving Transforming Growth Factor-β1/Smad2/3 Signaling

Liu-Cheng Li, De-Lin Li, Liang Xu, Xiao-Ting Mo, Wen-Hui Cui, Ping Zhao, Wen-Cheng Zhou, Jian Gao, Jun Li
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 2015, 354 (3): 302-9
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial event in the cellular origin of myofibroblasts that secrete extracellular matrix in the progression of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a novel mediator of EMT. However, whether this process involves the recognized transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad signaling that also contributes to EMT in PF has not yet been elucidated. Here, we developed a model of PF induced by bleomycin (BLM) in rats and conducted several simulation experiments in A549 (human) and RLE-6TN (rat) alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) lines to unravel the role of TGF-β1/Smad2/3 signaling in HMGB1-mediated EMT. We found that the levels of serum HMGB1 and lung hydroxyproline were severely elevated after BLM administration. Moreover, the protein expression of HMGB1, TGF-β1, phosphorylated Smad2/3 (p-Smad2/3), and mesenchymal markers including α-smooth muscle actin, vimentin, and type I collagen were significantly increased with the reduced protein expression of an epithelial marker (E-cadherin) in the rat model by Western blot or immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, the uptake of both exogenous TGF-β1 and HMGB1 by AECs could induce EMT; meanwhile, HMGB1 dramatically enhanced TGF-β1 expression and triggered Smad2/3 phosphorylation. In contrast, TGF-β1 deficiency evidently ameliorated HMGB1-mediated EMT with reduced p-Smad2/3 in A549 cells. It provides new insights that HMGB1 release from injured lungs promotes AEC damage through induction of the EMT process, in which TGF-β1/Smad2/3 signaling is activated and contributes to PF. These results suggest that HMGB1 may constitute a therapeutic target for developing antifibrotic agents for abnormal lung remodeling.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"