The exaggerated expression of chitinase-like protein YKL-40, the human homologue of breast regression protein–39 (BRP-39), was reported in a number of diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the in vivo roles of YKL-40 in normal physiology or in the pathogenesis of specific diseases such as COPD remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that BRP-39/YKL-40 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke (CS)–induced emphysema. To test this hypothesis, 10-week-old wild-type and BRP-39 null mutant mice (BRP-39−/−) were exposed to room air (RA) and CS for up to 10 months. The expression of BRP-39 was significantly induced in macrophages, airway epithelial cells, and alveolar Type II cells in the lungs of CS-exposed mice compared with RA-exposed mice, at least in part via an IL-18 signaling–dependent pathway. The null mutation of BRP-39 significantly reduced CS-induced bronchoalveolar lavage and tissue inflammation. However, CS-induced epithelial cell apoptosis and alveolar destruction were further enhanced in the absence of BRP-39. Consistent with these findings in mice, the tissue expression of YKL-40 was significantly increased in the lungs of current smokers compared with the lungs of ex-smokers or nonsmokers. In addition, serum concentrations of YKL-40 were significantly higher in smokers with COPD than in nonsmokers or smokers without COPD. These studies demonstrate a novel regulatory role of BRP-39/YKL-40 in CS-induced inflammation and emphysematous destruction. These studies also underscore that maintaining physiologic concentrations of YKL-40 in the lung is therapeutically important in preventing excessive inflammatory responses or emphysematous alveolar destruction.
YKL-40/BRP-39; COPD; emphysema; cigarette smoke
Mouse breast regression protein 39 (BRP-39; Chi3l1) and its human homologue YKL-40 are chitinase-like proteins that lack chitinase activity. Although YKL-40 is expressed in exaggerated quantities and correlates with disease activity in asthma and many other disorders, the biological properties of BRP-39/YKL-40 have only been rudimentarily defined. We describe the generation and characterization of BRP-39−/− mice, YKL-40 transgenic mice, and mice that lack BRP-39 and produce YKL-40 only in their pulmonary epithelium. Studies of these mice demonstrated that BRP-39−/− animals have markedly diminished antigen-induced Th2 responses and that epithelial YKL-40 rescues the Th2 responses in these animals. The ability of interleukin13 to induce tissue inflammation and fibrosis was also markedly diminished in the absence of BRP-39. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that BRP-39 and YKL-40 play an essential role in antigen sensitization and immunoglobulin E induction, stimulate dendritic cell accumulation and activation, and induce alternative macrophage activation. These proteins also inhibit inflammatory cell apoptosis/cell death while inhibiting Fas expression, activating protein kinase B/AKT, and inducing Faim 3. These studies establish novel regulatory roles for BRP-39/YKL-40 in the initiation and effector phases of Th2 inflammation and remodeling and suggest that these proteins are therapeutic targets in Th2- and macrophage-mediated disorders.
BRP-39 and its human homolog YKL-40 have been regarded as a prototype of chitinase-like proteins (CLP) in mammals. Exaggerated levels of YKL-40 protein and/or mRNA have been noted in a number of diseases characterized by inflammation, tissue remodeling, and aberrant cell growth. Asthma is an inflammatory disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and airway remodeling. Recently, the novel regulatory role of BRP-39/YKL-40 in the pathogenesis of asthma has been demonstrated both in human studies and allergic animal models. The levels of YKL-40 are increased in the circulation and lungs from asthmatics where they correlate with disease severity, and CHI3L1 polymorphisms correlate with serum YKL-40 levels, asthma and abnormal lung function. Animal studies using BRP-39 null mutant mice demonstrated that BRP-39 was required for optimal allergen sensitization and Th2 inflammation. These studies suggest the potential use of BRP-39 as a biomarker as well as a therapeutic target for asthma and other allergic diseases. Here, we present an overview of chitin/chitinase biology and summarize recent findings on the role of BRP-39 in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergic responses.
BRP-39; human CHI3L1 protein; asthma; hypersensitivity
Hyperoxic acute lung injury (HALI) is characterized by a cell death response with features of apoptosis and necrosis that is inhibited by IL-11 and other interventions. We hypothesized that Bfl-1/A1, an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein, is a critical regulator of HALI and a mediator of IL-11–induced cytoprotection. To test this, we characterized the expression of A1 and the oxygen susceptibility of WT and IL-11 Tg(+) mice with normal and null A1 loci. In WT mice, 100% O2 caused TUNEL+ cell death, induction and activation of intrinsic and mitochondrial-death pathways, and alveolar protein leak. Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl were also induced as an apparent protective response. A1 was induced in hyperoxia, and in A1-null mice, the toxic effects of hyperoxia were exaggerated, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl were not induced, and premature death was seen. In contrast, IL-11 stimulated A1, diminished the toxic effects of hyperoxia, stimulated Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, and enhanced murine survival in 100% O2. In A1-null mice, IL-11–induced protection, survival advantage, and Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl induction were significantly decreased. VEGF also conferred protection via an A1-dependent mechanism. In vitro hyperoxia also stimulated A1, and A1 overexpression inhibited oxidant-induced epithelial cell apoptosis and necrosis. A1 is an important regulator of oxidant-induced lung injury, apoptosis, necrosis, and Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl gene expression and a critical mediator of IL-11– and VEGF-induced cytoprotection.
The chitinase-like protein YKL-40 was found to be increased in patients with severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), two disease conditions featuring neutrophilic infiltrates. Based on these studies and a previous report indicating that neutrophils secrete YKL-40, we hypothesized that YKL-40 plays a key role in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease, a prototypic neutrophilic disease. The aim of this study was (i) to analyze YKL-40 levels in human and murine CF lung disease and (ii) to investigate whether YKL-40 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) modulate CF lung disease severity. YKL-40 protein levels were quantified in serum and sputum supernatants from CF patients and control individuals. Levels of the murine homologue BRP-39 were analyzed in airway fluids from CF-like βENaC-Tg mice. YKL-40SNPs were analyzed in CF patients. YKL-40 levels were increased in sputum supernatants and in serum from CF patients compared to healthy control individuals. Within CF patients, YKL-40 levels were higher in sputum than in serum. BRP-39 levels were increased in airways fluids from βENaC-Tg mice compared to wild-type littermates. In both CF patients and βENaC-Tg mice, YKL-40/BRP-39 airway levels correlated with the severity of pulmonary obstruction. Two YKL-40 SNPs (rs871799 and rs880633) were found to modulate age-adjusted lung function in CF patients. YKL-40/BRP-39 levelsare increased in human and murine CF airway fluids, correlate with pulmonary function and modulate CF lung disease severity genetically. These findings suggest YKL-40 as a potential biomarker in CF lung disease.
Prolonged exposure to hyperoxia in neonates can cause hyperoxic acute lung injury (HALI), which is characterized by increased pulmonary permeability and diffuse infiltration of various inflammatory cells. Disruption of the epithelial barrier may lead to altered pulmonary permeability and maintenance of barrier properties requires intact epithelial tight junctions (TJs). However, in neonatal animals, relatively little is known about how the TJ proteins are expressed in the pulmonary epithelium, including whether expression of TJ proteins is regulated in response to hyperoxia exposure. This study determines whether changes in tight junctions play an important role in disruption of the pulmonary epithelial barrier during hyperoxic acute lung injury.
Newborn rats, randomly divided into two groups, were exposed to hyperoxia (95% oxygen) or normoxia for 1–7 days, and the severity of lung injury was assessed; location and expression of key tight junction protein occludin and ZO-1 were examined by immunofluorescence staining and immunobloting; messenger RNA in lung tissue was studied by RT-PCR; transmission electron microscopy study was performed for the detection of tight junction morphology.
We found that different durations of hyperoxia exposure caused different degrees of lung injury in newborn rats. Treatment with hyperoxia for prolonged duration contributed to more serious lung injury, which was characterized by increased wet-to-dry ratio, extravascular lung water content, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF):serum FD4 ratio. Transmission electron microscopy study demonstrated that hyperoxia destroyed the structure of tight junctions and prolonged hyperoxia exposure, enhancing the structure destruction. The results were compatible with pathohistologic findings. We found that hyperoxia markedly disrupted the membrane localization and downregulated the cytoplasm expression of the key tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1 in the alveolar epithelium by immunofluorescence. The changes of messenger RNA and protein expression of occludin and ZO-1 in lung tissue detected by RT-PCR and immunoblotting were consistent with the degree of lung injury.
These data suggest that the disruption of the pulmonary epithelial barrier induced by hyperoxia is, at least in part, due to massive deterioration in the expression and localization of key TJ proteins.
Acute lung injury; Hyperoxia; Newborn; Permeability; Tight Junction
While the presence of the chitinase-like molecule YKL40 has been reported in COPD and asthma, its relevance to inflammatory processes elicited by cigarette smoke and common environmental allergens, such as house dust mite (HDM), is not well understood. The objective of the current study was to assess expression and function of BRP-39, the murine equivalent of YKL40 in a murine model of cigarette smoke-induced inflammation and contrast expression and function to a model of HDM-induced allergic airway inflammation.
CD1, C57BL/6, and BALB/c mice were room air- or cigarette smoke-exposed for 4 days in a whole-body exposure system. In separate experiments, BALB/c mice were challenged with HDM extract once a day for 10 days. BRP-39 was assessed by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. IL-13, IL-1R1, IL-18, and BRP-39 knock out (KO) mice were utilized to assess the mechanism and relevance of BRP-39 in cigarette smoke- and HDM-induced airway inflammation.
Cigarette smoke exposure elicited a robust induction of BRP-39 but not the catalytically active chitinase, AMCase, in lung epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages of all mouse strains tested. Both BRP-39 and AMCase were increased in lung tissue after HDM exposure. Examining smoke-exposed IL-1R1, IL-18, and IL-13 deficient mice, BRP-39 induction was found to be IL-1 and not IL-18 or IL-13 dependent, while induction of BRP-39 by HDM was independent of IL-1 and IL-13. Despite the importance of BRP-39 in cellular inflammation in HDM-induced airway inflammation, BRP-39 was found to be redundant for cigarette smoke-induced airway inflammation and the adjuvant properties of cigarette smoke.
These data highlight the contrast between the importance of BRP-39 in HDM- and cigarette smoke-induced inflammation. While functionally important in HDM-induced inflammation, BRP-39 is a biomarker of cigarette smoke induced inflammation which is the byproduct of an IL-1 inflammatory pathway.
Aberrant tissue repair and persistent inflammation following oxidant-mediated acute lung injury (ALI) can lead to the development and progression of various pulmonary diseases, but the mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear. Hyperoxia is widely used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, but the effects of this oxidant exposure in patients undergoing recovery from ALI are not clearly understood. Nrf2 has emerged as a crucial transcription factor that regulates oxidant stress through the induction of several detoxifying enzymes and other proteins. Using an experimental model of hyperoxia-induced ALI (HALI), we have examined the role of oxidant stress in resolving lung injury and inflammation. We found that when exposed to sub-lethal (72 h) hyperoxia, Nrf2-deficient, but not wild-type mice, succumbed to death during recovery. When both genotypes were exposed to a shorter period of HALI (48 h), the lungs of Nrf2-deficient mice during recovery exhibited persistent cellular injury, impaired alveolar and endothelial cell regeneration, and persistent cellular infiltration by macrophages and lymphocytes. GSH supplementation in Nrf2-deficient mice immediately after hyperoxia remarkably restored their ability to recover from hyperoxia-induced damage in a manner similar to that of wild-type mice. Thus, the results of the present study indicate that the Nrf2-regulated transcriptional response, and particularly GSH synthesis, is critical for lung tissue repair and the resolution of inflammation in vivo and suggests that a dysfunctional Nrf2-GSH pathway may compromise these processes in vivo.
Oxidative stress; Nrf2; acute lung injury; DNA injury
YKL-40 (chitinase 3-like protein 1) is expressed in a broad spectrum of inflammatory conditions and cancers. We have previously reported that YKL-40 levels are elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of macaques and humans with lentiviral encephalitis, as well as multiple sclerosis (MS). The current study assessed temporal CSF YKL-40 levels in subjects with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI; Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score ≤8). We also evaluated temporal expression of YKL-40 after parasagittal controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury over the parietal cortex (2.8 mm deep, 4 m/sec). We demonstrate that CSF YKL-40 levels are elevated after acute TBI, and that YKL-40 levels are higher in patients who died following injury than in patients who survived. YKL-40 levels significantly correlate with CSF levels of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), as well as the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). After CCI, in situ hybridization (ISH) showed that YKL-40 transcription is primarily associated with reactive astrocytes in pericontusional cortex. Tissue YKL-40 transcription time course analysis after CCI showed that YKL40 transcription in astrocytes began 1 day after injury, remained elevated for several days, and then declined by day 12. Similarly to our temporal CSF measurements in humans, YKL-40 induction after CCI is coincident with IL-1β expression. Taken together these findings demonstrate that YKL-40 is induced in astrocytes during acute neuroinflammation, is temporally related to inflammatory mediator expression, and may be a useful biomarker for understanding secondary injury and for patient prognosis.
chitinase; controlled cortical impact; cytokine; gliosis; neuroinflammation; traumatic brain injury; YKL-40
The chitinase-like proteins YKL-39 (chitinase 3-like-2) and YKL-40 (chitinase 3-like-1) are highly expressed in a number of human cells independent of their origin (mesenchymal, epithelial or haemapoietic). Elevated serum levels of YKL-40 have been associated with a negative outcome in a number of diseases ranging from cancer to inflammation and asthma. YKL-39 expression has been associated with osteoarthritis. However, despite the reported association with disease, the physiological or pathological role of these proteins is still very poorly understood. Although YKL-39 is homologous to the two family 18 chitinases in the human genome, it has been reported to lack any chitinase activity. In the present study, we show that human YKL-39 possesses a chitinase-like fold, but lacks key active-site residues required for catalysis. A glycan screen identified oligomers of N-acetylglucosamine as preferred binding partners. YKL-39 binds chitooligosaccharides and a newly synthesized derivative of the bisdionin chitinase-inhibitor class with micromolar affinity, through a number of conserved tryptophan residues. Strikingly, the chitinase activity of YKL-39 was recovered by reverting two non-conservative substitutions in the active site to those found in the active enzymes, suggesting that YKL-39 is a pseudo-chitinase with retention of chitinase-like ligand-binding properties.
chitinase; chitinase-like proteins; glycan; glycan array; glycobiology; protein structure; lectin; X-ray crystallography
YKL-39 is a Glyco_18 domain containing chitinase-like protein which is currently recognized as a biomarker for the activation of chondrocytes and the progress of the osteoarthritis in human. YKL-39 was identified as an abundantly secreted protein in primary culture of human articular chondrocytes. Two biological activities of YKL-39 might contribute to the disease progression. One is the induction of autoimmune response and second is the participation in tissue remodeling. Other mammalian chitinase-like proteins including chitotriosidase, SI-CLP, YKL-40 and YM1 are expressed by macrophages in various pathological conditions. In contrast, YKL-39 was never reported to be produced by macrophages. We used in vitro model of human monocyte-derived macrophage differentiation to analyse regulation of YKL-39 expression. Expression of YKL-39 was examined by real-time RT-PCR. CD14+ MACS sorted human monocytes differentiated for 6 days under different stimulations including IFNγ, IL-4, dexamethasone and TGF-β. We found that both IL-4 and TGF-β have weak stimulatory effect on YKL-39 expression in all donors tested (3.2 ± 1.7 fold, p = 0.006 and 6.3 ± 3.1 fold, p = 0.014 respectively). However the combination of IL-4 and TGF-β had strong stimulatory effect on the expression of YKL-39 in all analysed individual macrophage cultures (34 ± 36 fold, p = 0.05). IFN-γ did not show statistically significant effect of YKL-39 mRNA expression. Presence of dexamethasone almost completely abolished the stimulatory effects of IL-4 and TGF-β. In summary, we show here for the first time, that human cells of monocyte origin are able to produce YKL-39. Maturation of monocyte derived macrophages in the presence of Th2 cytokine IL-4 and TGF-β leads to the strong activation of YKL-39 expression. Thus elevated levels of YKL-39 observed during chronic inflammations can not be attributed solely to the activity of chondrocytes. In perspective, YKL-39 might serve as a useful biomarker to detect macrophage-specific response in pathologies like tumour, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer disease.
osteoarthritis; chitinase; YKL-39; macrophage; TGF-beta; IL-4
Hyperoxic acute lung injury (HALI) is characterized by a cell death response that is inhibited by IL-6. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1) is an antiapoptotic negative regulator of the IL-6–mediated Janus kinase–signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway. We hypothesized that SOCS-1 is a critical regulator and key mediator of IL-6–induced cytoprotection in HALI. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the expression of SOCS-1 and downstream apoptosis signal–regulating kinase (ASK)-1–Jun N-terminal kinase signaling molecules in small airway epithelial cells in the presence of H2O2, which induces oxidative stress. We also examined these molecules in wild-type and lung-specific IL-6 transgenic (Tg+) mice exposed to 100% oxygen for 72 hours. In control small airway epithelial cells exposed to H2O2 or in wild-type mice exposed to 100% oxygen, a marked induction of ASK-1 and pJun N-terminal kinase was observed. Both IL-6–stimulated endogenous SOCS-1 and SOCS-1 overexpression abolished H2O2-induced ASK-1 activation. In addition, IL-6 Tg+ mice exposed to 100% oxygen exhibited reduced ASK-1 levels and enhanced SOCS-1 expression compared with wild-type mice. Interestingly, no significant changes in activation of the key ASK-1 activator, tumor necrosis factor receptor-1/tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor-2 were observed between wild-type and IL-6 Tg+ mice. Furthermore, the interaction between SOCS-1 and ASK-1 promotes ubiquitin-mediated degradation both in vivo and in vitro. These studies demonstrate that SOCS-1 is an important regulator in IL-6–induced cytoprotection against HALI.
IL-6; apoptosis signal–regulating kinase-1; suppressor of cytokine signaling-1; lung injury; tumor necrosis factor receptor-1
Tumor angiogenesis is of paramount importance in solid tumor development. Elevated serum levels of YKL-40, a secreted heparin-binding glycoprotein have been associated with a worse prognosis from a variety of advanced human cancers. Yet the role of YKL-40 activity in these cancers is still missing. Here, we have shown that ectopic expression of YKL-40 in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and HCT-116 colon cancer cells led to larger tumor formation with an extensive angiogenic phenotype than did control cancer cells in mice. Affinity purified recombinant YKL-40 protein promoted vascular endothelial cell angiogenesis in vitro, the effects similar to the activities observed using MDA-MB-231 and HCT-116 cell conditioned medium after transfection with YKL-40. Further, YKL-40 was found to induce the coordination of membrane-bound receptor syndecan-1 and integrin αvβ3 and activate an intracellular signaling cascade including focal adhesion kinase and MAP kinase Erk1/2 in endothelial cells. Also, blockade of YKL-40 using siRNA gene knockdown suppressed tumor angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Immunohistochemical analysis of human breast cancer revealed a correlation between YKL-40 expression and blood vessel density. These findings provide novel insights into angiogenic activities and molecular mechanisms of YKL-40 in cancer development.
The chitinase-like protein YKL-40 is involved in inflammation and tissue remodeling. We recently showed that serum YKL-40 levels were elevated in patients with asthma and were correlated with severity, thickening of the subepithelial basement membrane, and pulmonary function. We hypothesized that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect YKL-40 levels also influence asthma status and lung function.
We carried out a genomewide association study of serum YKL-40 levels in a founder population of European descent, the Hutterites, and then tested for an association between an implicated SNP and asthma and lung function. One associated variant was genotyped in a birth cohort at high risk for asthma, in which YKL-40 levels were measured from birth through 5 years of age, and in two populations of unrelated case patients of European descent with asthma and controls.
A promoter SNP (−131C→G) in CHI3L1, the chitinase 3–like 1 gene encoding YKL-40, was associated with elevated serum YKL-40 levels (P = 1.1×10−13), asthma (P = 0.047), bronchial hyperresponsiveness (P = 0.002), and measures of pulmonary function (P = 0.046 to 0.002) in the Hutterites. The same SNP could be used to predict the presence of asthma in the two case–control populations (combined P = 1.2×10−5) and serum YKL-40 levels at birth (in cord-blood specimens) through 5 years of age in the birth cohort (P = 8.9×10−3 to 2.5×10−4).
CHI3L1 is a susceptibility gene for asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and reduced lung function, and elevated circulating YKL-40 levels are a biomarker for asthma and decline in lung function.
Rationale: Acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome are characterized by increased lung oxidant stress and apoptotic cell death. The contribution of epithelial cell apoptosis to the development of lung injury is unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether oxidant-mediated activation of the intrinsic or extrinsic apoptotic pathway contributes to the development of acute lung injury.
Methods: Exposure of tissue-specific or global knockout mice or cells lacking critical components of the apoptotic pathway to hyperoxia, a well-established mouse model of oxidant-induced lung injury, for measurement of cell death, lung injury, and survival.
Measurements and Main Results: We found that the overexpression of SOD2 prevents hyperoxia-induced BAX activation and cell death in primary alveolar epithelial cells and prolongs the survival of mice exposed to hyperoxia. The conditional loss of BAX and BAK in the lung epithelium prevented hyperoxia-induced cell death in alveolar epithelial cells, ameliorated hyperoxia-induced lung injury, and prolonged survival in mice. By contrast, Cyclophilin D–deficient mice were not protected from hyperoxia, indicating that opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore is dispensable for hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Mice globally deficient in the BH3-only proteins BIM, BID, PUMA, or NOXA, which are proximal upstream regulators of BAX and BAK, were not protected against hyperoxia-induced lung injury suggesting redundancy of these proteins in the activation of BAX or BAK.
Conclusions: Mitochondrial oxidant generation initiates BAX- or BAK-dependent alveolar epithelial cell death, which contributes to hyperoxia-induced lung injury.
cell death; epithelium; Bcl-2 proteins; acute respiratory distress syndrome
YKL-40 (chitinase-3-like-1) is a member of "mammalian chitinase-like proteins". The protein is expressed in many types of cancer cells and the highest plasma YKL-40 levels have been found in patients with metastatic disease, short recurrence/progression-free intervals, and short overall survival. The aim of the study was to determine the expression of YKL-40 in tumor tissue and plasma in patients with borderline ovarian tumor or epithelial ovarian cancer (OC), and investigate prognostic value of this marker.
YKL-40 protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in tissue arrays from 181 borderline tumors and 473 OC. Plasma YKL-40 was determined by ELISA in preoperative samples from 19 patients with borderline tumor and 76 OC patients.
YKL-40 protein expression was found in cancer cells, tumor associated macrophages, neutrophils and mast cells. The tumor cell expression was higher in OC than in borderline tumors (p = 0.001), and associated with FIGO stage (p < 0.0001) and histological subtype (p = 0.0009). Positive YKL-40 expression (≥ 5% staining) was not associated with reduced survival. Plasma YKL-40 was also higher in patients with OC than in patients with borderline tumors (p < 0.0001), and it was positively correlated to serum CA-125 (p < 0.0001) and FIGO stage (p = 0.0001). Univariate Cox analysis of plasma YKL-40 showed association with overall survival (p < 0.0001). Multivariate Cox analysis, including plasma YKL-40, serum CA125, FIGO stage, age and radicality after primary surgery as variables, showed that elevated plasma YKL-40 was associated with a shorter survival (HR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.40–3.25, p = 0.0004).
YKL-40 in OC tissue and plasma are related to stage and histology, but only plasma YKL-40 is a prognostic biomarker in patients with OC.
Rationale: Chitinases are enzymes that cleave chitin, which is present in fungal cells. Two types of human chitinases, chitotriosidase and acidic mammalian chitinase, and the chitinase-like protein, YKL-40, seem to play an important role in asthma. We hypothesized that exposure to environmental fungi may modulate the effect of chitinases in individuals with asthma.
Objectives: To explore whether interactions between high fungal exposure and common genetic variants in the two chitinases in humans, CHIT1 and CHIA, and the chitinase 3-like 1 gene, CHI3L1, are associated with severe asthma exacerbations and other asthma-related outcomes.
Methods: Forty-eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CHIT1, CHIA, and CHI3L1 and one CHIT1 duplication were genotyped in 395 subjects and their parents as part of the Childhood Asthma Management Program. Household levels of mold (an index of fungal exposure) were determined on house dust samples. We conducted family-based association tests with gene–environment interactions. Our outcome was severe exacerbation, defined as emergency department visits and hospitalizations from asthma over a 4-year period, and our secondary outcomes included indices of lung function and allergy-related phenotypes.
Measurements and Main Results: Of the 395 subjects who had mold levels at randomization, 24% (95 subjects) had levels that were greater than 25,000 units per gram of house dust (high mold exposure). High mold exposure significantly modified the relation between three SNPs in CHIT1 (rs2486953, rs4950936, and rs1417149) and severe exacerbations (P for interaction 0.0010 for rs2486953, 0.0008 for rs4950936, and 0.0005 for rs1417149). High mold exposure did not significantly modify the relationship between any of the other variants and outcomes.
Conclusions: Environmental exposure to fungi, modifies the effect of CHIT1 SNPs on severe asthma exacerbations.
chitinase; asthma; CHIA; CHIT1; CHI13L1
YKL-40 is a mammalian member of the chitinase protein family. Although the function of YKL-40 is unknown, the pattern of its expression suggests a function in remodelling or degradation of extracellular matrix. High serum YKL-40 has been found in patients with recurrent breast cancer and has been related to short survival. In the present study we analysed YKL-40 in preoperative sera from patients with colorectal cancer and evaluated its relation to survival. Serum YKL-40 was determined by RIA in 603 patients. Survival after operation was registered, and median follow-up time was 61 months. Three hundred and forty patients died. Sixteen per cent of the patients with Dukes' A, 26% with Dukes' B, 19% with Dukes' C and 39% with Dukes' D had high serum YKL-40 levels (adjusted for age). Analysis of serum YKL-40 as a continuous variable showed an association between increased serum YKL-40 and short survival (P < 0.0001). Patients with high preoperative serum YKL-40 concentration had significantly shorter survival than patients with normal YKL-40 (HR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.3–2.1, P < 0.0001). Multivariate Cox analysis including serum YKL-40, serum CEA, Dukes' stage, age and gender showed that high YKL-40 was an independent prognostic variable for short survival (HR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1–1.8, P = 0.007). These results suggest that YKL-40 may play an important role in tumour invasion. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
carcinoembryonic antigen; colorectal cancer; metastasis; tumour invasiveness; YKL-40/HC gp-39
Increased oxygen (O2) levels help manage severely injured patients, but too much for too long can cause acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and even death. In fact, continuous hyperoxia has become a prototype in rodents to mimic salient clinical and pathological characteristics of ALI/ARDS. To identify genes affecting hyperoxia-induced ALI (HALI), we previously established a mouse model of differential susceptibility. Genetic analysis of backcross and F2 populations derived from sensitive (C57BL/6J; B) and resistant (129X1/SvJ; X1) inbred strains identified five quantitative trait loci (QTLs; Shali1-5) linked to HALI survival time. Interestingly, analysis of these recombinant populations supported opposite within-strain effects on survival for the two major-effect QTLs. Whereas Shali1 alleles imparted the expected survival time effects (i.e., X1 alleles increased HALI resistance and B alleles increased sensitivity), the allelic effects of Shali2 were reversed (i.e., X1 alleles increased HALI sensitivity and B alleles increased resistance). For in vivo validation of these inverse allelic effects, we constructed reciprocal congenic lines to synchronize the sensitivity or resistance alleles of Shali1 and Shali2 within the same strain. Specifically, B-derived Shali1 or Shali2 QTL regions were transferred to X1 mice and X1-derived QTL segments were transferred to B mice. Our previous QTL results predicted that substituting Shali1 B alleles onto the resistant X1 background would add sensitivity. Surprisingly, not only were these mice more sensitive than the resistant X1 strain, they were more sensitive than the sensitive B strain. In stark contrast, substituting the Shali2 interval from the sensitive B strain onto the X1 background markedly increased the survival time. Reciprocal congenic lines confirmed the opposing allelic effects of Shali1 and Shali2 on HALI survival time and provide unique models to identify their respective quantitative trait genes and to critically assess the apparent bidirectional epistatic interactions between these major-effect loci.
Rationale: Human data suggest that the incidence of acute lung injury is reduced in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. However, the mechanisms by which diabetes confers protection from lung injury are unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether leptin resistance, which is seen in humans with diabetes, protects mice from hyperoxic lung injury.
Methods: Wild-type (leptin responsive) and db/db (leptin resistant) mice were used in these studies. Mice were exposed to hyperoxia (100% O2) for 84 hours to induce lung injury and up to 168 hours for survival studies. Alveolar fluid clearance was measured in vivo.
Measurements and Main Results: Lung leptin levels were increased both in wild-type and leptin receptor–defective db/db mice after hyperoxia. Hyperoxia-induced lung injury was decreased in db/db compared with wild-type mice. Hyperoxia increased lung permeability in wild-type mice but not in db/db mice. Compared with wild-type control animals, db/db mice were resistant to hyperoxia-induced mortality (lethal dose for 50% of mice, 152 vs. 108 h). Intratracheal instillation of leptin at a dose that was observed in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid during hyperoxia caused lung injury in wild-type but not in db/db mice. Intratracheal pretreatment with a leptin receptor inhibitor attenuated leptin-induced lung edema. The hyperoxia-induced release of proinflammatory cytokines was attenuated in db/db mice. Despite resistance to lung injury, db/db mice had diminished alveolar fluid clearance and reduced Na,K-ATPase function compared with wild-type mice.
Conclusions: These results indicate that leptin can induce and that resistance to leptin attenuates hyperoxia-induced lung injury and hyperoxia-induced inflammatory cytokines in the lung.
alveolar fluid clearance; pulmonary edema; Na,K-ATPase; diabetes mellitus; oxygen
In bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), alveolar septae are thickened with collagen and α-smooth muscle actin, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β-positive myofibroblasts. Periostin, a secreted extracellular matrix protein, is involved in TGF-β-mediated fibrosis and myofibroblast differentiation. We hypothesized that periostin expression is required for hypoalveolarization and interstitial fibrosis in hyperoxia-exposed neonatal mice, an animal model for this disease. We also examined periostin expression in neonatal lung mesenchymal stromal cells and lung tissue of hyperoxia-exposed neonatal mice and human infants with BPD. Two-to-three day-old wild-type and periostin null mice were exposed to air or 75% oxygen for 14 days. Mesenchymal stromal cells were isolated from tracheal aspirates of premature infants. Hyperoxic exposure of neonatal mice increased alveolar wall periostin expression, particularly in areas of interstitial thickening. Periostin co-localized with α-smooth muscle actin, suggesting synthesis by myofibroblasts. A similar pattern was found in lung sections of infants dying of BPD. Unlike wild-type mice, hyperoxia-exposed periostin null mice did not show larger air spaces or α-smooth muscle-positive myofibroblasts. Compared to hyperoxia-exposed wild-type mice, hyperoxia-exposed periostin null mice also showed reduced lung mRNA expression of α-smooth muscle actin, elastin, CXCL1, CXCL2 and CCL4. TGF-β treatment increased mesenchymal stromal cell periostin expression, and periostin treatment increased TGF-β-mediated DNA synthesis and myofibroblast differentiation. We conclude that periostin expression is increased in the lungs of hyperoxia-exposed neonatal mice and infants with BPD, and is required for hyperoxia-induced hypoalveolarization and interstitial fibrosis.
Rationale: Oxygen supplementation (e.g., hyperoxia) is used to support critically ill patients with noninfectious and infectious acute lung injury (ALI); however, hyperoxia exposure can potentially further contribute to and/or perpetuate preexisting ALI. Thus, developing novel therapeutic agents to minimize the side effects of hyperoxia is essential to improve the health of patients with severe ALI and respiratory dysfunction. We have previously shown that mice with a genetic disruption of the Nrf2 transcription factor, which squelches cellular stress by up-regulating the induction of several antioxidant enzymes and proteins, have greater susceptibility to hyperoxic lung injury. Moreover, we have recently demonstrated that Nrf2-deficiency impairs the resolution of lung injury and inflammation after nonlethal hyperoxia exposure.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that amplification of endogenous Nrf2 activity would prevent or dampen ALI induced by hyperoxia.
Methods: Here, we tested our hypothesis using a synthetic triterpenoid compound CDDO-imidazole (CDDO-Im) (1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl] imidazole) in Nrf2-sufficient and Nrf2-deficient mice subjected to hyperoxia-induced ALI.
Measurements and Main Results: We demonstrate that oral administration of CDDO-Im at a dose of 30 μmol/kg body weight during the hyperoxic exposure is sufficient to markedly attenuate hyperoxia-induced ALI in Nrf2-sufficient but not Nrf2-deficient mice. This protection by the CDDO-Im against hyperoxic insult was accompanied by increased levels of Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective gene expression and reduced levels of DNA damage in the lung.
Conclusions: These results suggest that up-regulation of Nrf2 signaling by CDDO-Im or its analogs may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to minimize the adverse effects of hyperoxia.
Nrf2; Keap1; antioxidants; stress response
The functional significance of the Fas/Fas-ligand (FasL) system in hyperoxia-induced lung injury and alveolar disruption in newborn lungs in vivo remains undetermined. To assess the role of the Fas/FasL system, we compared the effects of hyperoxia (95% O2 from birth to Postnatal Day [P]7) in Fas-deficient lpr mice and wild-type mice. Alveolar disruption was more severe in hyperoxic lpr mice than in wild-type mice. In addition, a transient alveolarization defect was noted in normoxic lpr mice. Hyperoxia induced marked up-regulation of pulmonary Fas expression in wild-type mice, as well as elevated mRNA levels of pro-apoptotic Bax, Bad, and Bak. Pulmonary apoptotic activity was similar in hyperoxic wild-type and lpr mice. In contrast, lung growth and proliferation, assessed by stereologic volumetry and Ki67 proliferation studies, were significantly higher in hyperoxic wild-type mice compared with lpr mice, suggesting the Fas/FasL system has a pro-proliferative role in hyperoxic conditions. Levels of the prosurvival MAPkinase, pERK1/2, were significantly higher in hyperoxic wild-type mice compared with lpr mice, while pAkt levels were similar. These data suggest that the primary role of the Fas/FasL system in hyperoxic newborn lungs is pro-proliferative, rather than pro-apoptotic, and likely mediated through a Fas-ERK1/2 pathway. Fas-induced proliferation and lung growth in hyperoxic newborn lungs may counteract, in part, the detrimental effects of apoptosis mediated by non-Fas pathways, such as pro-apoptotic Bax/Bcl-2 family members. The capacity of the Fas/FasL signaling pathway to mediate protective rather than destructive functions in hyperoxic newborn lungs highlights the versatility of this complex pathway.
CD95; oxygen toxicity; apoptosis; programmed cell death; bronchopulmonary dysplasia
The angiogenic growth factor angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) destabilizes blood vessels, enhances vascular leak and induces vascular regression and endothelial cell apoptosis. We considered that Ang2 might be important in hyperoxic acute lung injury (ALI). Here we have characterized the responses in lungs induced by hyperoxia in wild-type and Ang2–/– mice or those given either recombinant Ang2 or short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted to Ang2. During hyperoxia Ang2 expression is induced in lung epithelial cells, while hyperoxia-induced oxidant injury, cell death, inflammation, permeability alterations and mortality are ameliorated in Ang2–/– and siRNA-treated mice. Hyperoxia induces and activates the extrinsic and mitochondrial cell death pathways and activates initiator and effector caspases through Ang2-dependent pathways in vivo. Ang2 increases inflammation and cell death during hyperoxia in vivo and stimulates epithelial necrosis in hyperoxia in vitro. Ang2 in plasma and alveolar edema fluid is increased in adults with ALI and pulmonary edema. Tracheal Ang2 is also increased in neonates that develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Ang2 is thus a mediator of epithelial necrosis with an important role in hyperoxic ALI and pulmonary edema.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Hyperoxia causes lung injury in animals and humans, and is an established model of ALI. Caveolin-1, a major constituent of caveolae, regulates numerous biological processes, including cell death and proliferation. Here we demonstrate that caveolin-1–null mice (cav-1−/−) were resistant to hyperoxia-induced death and lung injury. Cav-1−/− mice sustained reduced lung injury after hyperoxia as determined by protein levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and histologic analysis. Furthermore, cav-1−/− fibroblasts and endothelial cells and cav-1 knockdown epithelial cells resisted hyperoxia-induced cell death in vitro. Basal and inducible expression of the stress protein heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were markedly elevated in lung tissue or fibroblasts from cav-1−/− mice. Hyperoxia induced the physical interaction between cav-1 and HO-1 in fibroblasts assessed by co-immunoprecipitation studies, which resulted in attenuation of HO activity. Inhibition of HO activity with tin protoporphyrin-IX abolished the survival benefits of cav-1−/− cells and cav-1−/− mice exposed to hyperoxia. The cav-1−/− mice displayed elevated phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and p38β expression in lung tissue/cells under basal conditions and during hyperoxia. Treatment with SB202190, an inhibitor of p38 MAPK, decreased hyperoxia-inducible HO-1 expression in wild-type and cav-1−/− fibroblasts. Taken together, our data demonstrated that cav-1 deletion protects against hyperoxia-induced lung injury, involving in part the modulation of the HO-1–cav-1 interaction, and the enhanced induction of HO-1 through a p38 MAPK–mediated pathway. These studies identify caveolin-1 as a novel component involved in hyperoxia-induced lung injury.
acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; caveolin-1; heme oxygenase-1