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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24325

Title: Molecular Mechanism of Podosome Formation and Proteolytic Function in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells
Authors: Xiao, Helan
Advisor: Liu, Mingyao
Department: Physiology
Keywords: cell biology
cell migration
cell invasion
protein kinase C
matrix degradation
membrane ruffle
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2010
Abstract: In the lung, epithelial cell migration plays a key role in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. When the respiratory epithelium is injured, the epithelial lining in the respiratory system can be seriously damaged. Spreading and migrating of the surviving cells neighboring a wound are essential for airway epithelial repair. When the repair process is affected, aberrant remodeling may occur, which is important in the pathogenesis of lung diseases. However, in comparison with other cellular and molecular functions in the respiratory system, our understanding on lung epithelial cell migration and invasion is limited. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that govern these cellular processes, I asked whether normal (non-cancerous) human airway epithelial cells can form podosomes, a cellular structure discovered from cancer and mesenchymal cells that controls cell migration and invasion. I found that phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (PDBu), a protein kinase C (PKC) activator, induced podosome formation in primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells, and in normal human airway epithelial BEAS2B cells. PDBu-induced podosomes were capable of degrading fibronectin-gelatin-sucrose matrix. PDBu also increased the invasiveness of these epithelial cells. I further demonstrated that PDBu-induced podosome formation was mainly mediated through redistribution of conventional PKCs, especially PKCα, from the cytosol to the podosomes, whereas atypical PKCζ played a dominant role in the proteolytic activity of podosomes through recruitment of MMP-9 to podosomes, and MMP-9 secretion and activiation. I also found that that PDBu can activate PI3K/Akt/Src and ERK1/2 and JNK but not p38. PI3K, Akt and Src were critical for podosome formation, whereas ERK1/2 and JNK mediated the proteolytic activity of podosomes via MMP-9 recruitment, gene expression, release and activation without affecting podosome assembly. Podosomes are important for epithelial cell migration and invasion, thus contributing to respiratory epithelial repair and regeneration. My thesis work unveils the molecular mechanisms that regulate podosomal formation and proteolytic function in normal human bronchial epithelial cells. These novel findings may enhance our understanding of cell migration and invasion in lung development and repair. Similar mechanisms may be also applicable to other cell types in distinct organs.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24325
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Physiology - Doctoral theses

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