Author(s): Ammit AJ, Panettieri RA Jr
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Abstract Severe asthma is characterized by increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass, due predominantly to ASM hyperplasia. Diverse stimuli, which include growth factors, plasma- or inflammatory cell-derived mediators, contractile agonists, cytokines, and extracellular matrix proteins, induce ASM proliferation. Mitogens act via receptor tyrosine kinase, G protein-coupled receptors, or cytokine receptors, to activate p21ras and stimulate two parallel signaling pathways in ASM cells, namely, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways. ERK and PI3K regulate cell cycle protein expression and thus modulate cell cycle traversal. ERK activation and downstream effectors of PI3K, such as Rac1 and Cdc42, stimulate expression of cyclin D1, a key regulator of G(1) progression in the mammalian cell cycle. In addition, PI3K activates 70-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase, an enzyme that also regulates the translation of many cell cycle proteins, including the elongation factor E2F. The present review examines the mitogens and critical signal transduction pathways that stimulate ASM cell proliferation. Further study in this area may reveal new therapeutic targets to abrogate ASM hyperplasia in diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy