Hypersecretory disease associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infections is characterised by increased goblet cells and increased mucin production. Recently, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling cascade was shown to be a common pathway through which many stimuli induce mucin MUC5AC expression in airways by differentiation to a goblet cell phenotype. This study looked at whether PA products induce EGFR expression and activation and thus result in mucin MUC5AC production. Human airway epithelial (NCI-H292) cells were stimulated with PA culture supernatant (Sup). MUC5AC protein production, MUC5AC and EGFR messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression, and phosphorylated EGFR and phosphorylated p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were all examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, by in situ hybridisation and by immunoblotting. PA Sup induced MUC5AC mRNA and subsequent protein expression, EGFR and p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation and EGFR mRNA expression. Induction of MUC5AC mRNA and protein expression and EGFR and p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation were inhibited completely by pretreatment with a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Pretreatment with a selective inhibitor of MAPK kinase prevented MUC5AC production and p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation but not EGFR phosphorylation. The authors conclude that PA products induce mucin MUC5AC production in human airway epithelial cells via the expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor.
- Airway epithelium
- Mucin production
- Tyrosine kinase phosphorylation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine