Effect of doxycycline on epithelial-mesenchymal transition via the p38/Smad pathway in respiratory epithelial cells

Jae Min Shin, Ju Hyung Kang, Seoung Ae Lee, Il Ho Park, Heung Man Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Doxycycline has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, and it also suppresses collagen biosynthesis. This study aimed to confirm the effects and mechanism of doxycycline on transforming growth factor (TGF) beta 1 induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cell migration in A549 and primary nasal epithelial cells. Methods: A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay and phalloidin-fluorescein isothiocyanate staining were used to evaluate cytotoxicity and cellular morphologic changes. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining were used to determine the expression levels of E-cadherin, vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, phosphorylated Smad2/3, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. Scratch and transwell migration assays were used to assess cellular migration ability. Results: Doxycycline (0-10 μg/mL) had no significant cytotoxic effects in A549 and primary nasal epithelial cells. Increased expression of mesenchymal markers, including vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and fibronectin in TGF beta 1 induced A549 cells were downregulated by doxycycline treatment. In contrast, E-cadherin expression was upregulated in TGF beta 1 induced A549 cells. An in vitro cell migration assay showed that doxycycline also inhibited the ability of TGF beta 1 induced migration. Doxycycline treatment suppressed the activation of Smad2/3 and p38, whereas its inhibitory effects were similar to each element-specific inhibitor in A549 and primary nasal epithelial cells. Conclusion: Doxycycline inhibited TGF beta 1 induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and migration by targeting Smad2/3 and p38 signal pathways in respiratory epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this