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1.  Cigarette Smoke Induces Nucleic-Acid Oxidation in Lung Fibroblasts 
Oxidative stress is widely proposed as a pathogenic mechanism for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but the molecular pathway connecting oxidative damage to tissue destruction remains to be fully defined. We suggest that reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidatively damage nucleic acids, and this effect requires multiple repair mechanisms, particularly base excision pathway components 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase (OGG1), endonuclease III homologue 1 (NTH1), and single-strand–selective monofunctional uracil-DNA glycosylase 1 (SMUG1), as well as the nucleic acid-binding protein, Y-box binding protein 1 (YB1). This study was therefore designed to define the levels of nucleic-acid oxidation and expression of genes involved in the repair of COPD and in corresponding models of this disease. We found significant oxidation of nucleic acids localized to alveolar lung fibroblasts, increased levels of OGG1 mRNA expression, and decreased concentrations of NTH1, SMUG1, and YB1 mRNA in lung samples from subjects with very severe COPD compared with little or no COPD. Mice exposed to cigarette smoke exhibited a time-dependent accumulation of nucleic-acid oxidation in alveolar fibroblasts, which was associated with an increase in OGG1 and YB1 mRNA concentrations. Similarly, human lung fibroblasts exposed to cigarette smoke extract exhibited ROS-dependent nucleic-acid oxidation. The short interfering RNA (siRNA)-dependent knockdown of OGG1 and YB1 expression increased nucleic-acid oxidation at the basal state and after exposure to cigarette smoke. Together, our results demonstrate ROS-dependent, cigarette smoke-induced nucleic-acid oxidation in alveolar fibroblasts, which may play a role in the pathogenesis of emphysema.
PMCID: PMC2970854  PMID: 20008282
COPD; emphysema; nucleic-acid oxidation; DNA/RNA repair
2.  Macrophage Chitinase 1 Stratifies Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 
Diagnosis and therapy of chronic inflammatory lung disease is limited by the need for individualized biomarkers that provide insight into pathogenesis. Herein we show that mouse models of chronic obstructive lung disease exhibit an increase in lung chitinase production but cannot predict which chitinase family member may be equivalently increased in humans with corresponding lung disease. Moreover, we demonstrate that lung macrophage production of chitinase 1 is selectively increased in a subset of subjects with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and this increase is reflected in plasma levels. The findings provide a means to noninvasively track alternatively activated macrophages in chronic lung disease and thereby better differentiate molecular phenotypes in heterogeneous patient populations.
PMCID: PMC2746984  PMID: 19491341
3.  A Transgenic FOXJ1-Cre System for Gene Inactivation in Ciliated Epithelial Cells 
Ciliated airway epithelial cells are critical for mucosal barrier function, including host defense against pathogens. This cell population is often the primary target and thereby the first line of defense against many common respiratory viruses. It is also the precursor for mucous cells and thereby promotes mucociliary clearance of infectious and other noxious agents. Cells with motile cilia in other organs (e.g., brain and reproductive organs) may also have roles in development and reproduction. However, definitive proof of ciliated cell function is hampered by the lack of strategies to specifically target this cell population for loss of function in vivo. To this end, cell type–specific gene promoters have been combined with the Cre/LoxP system to disrupt genes in airway and alveolar epithelial cell populations expressing surfactant protein C (SP-C) or Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP). By contrast, an analogous system to disrupt gene function in ciliated airway epithelial cells was still needed. Here we report the generation and analysis of mouse lines with a FOXJ1 promoter driving the Cre recombinase and show that this system mediates genomic recombination specifically in ciliated cells. The pattern of recombination recapitulates endogenous FOXJ1 promoter function, being restricted to ciliated cells present in pulmonary airways as well as choroid plexus, ependyma, oviduct, and testis. This transgenic mouse system thereby offers a new strategy for specific knockouts of genes in ciliated cells. It should prove extremely useful for defining ciliated cell function in airway mucosal immunity as well as development and reproduction.
PMCID: PMC1899335  PMID: 17255554
pulmonary airways; mucosal immunity; FOXJ1 transcription factor; cell-specific gene knockouts; Cre/LoxP system
4.  Chemokine Complexity 
PMCID: PMC2643253  PMID: 16847105
5.  Immunogenetic Programs for Viral Induction of Mucous Cell Metaplasia 
PMCID: PMC2658695  PMID: 16543602
airway epithelial cell; airway hyperreactivity; apoptosis; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; mucosal immunity

Results 1-6 (6)