Central Role of Muc5ac Expression in Mucous Metaplasia and Its Regulation by Conserved 5′ Elements

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 10/2007; 37(3):273-90. DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.2005-0460OC
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Mucus hypersecretion contributes to morbidity and mortality in many obstructive lung diseases. Gel-forming mucins are the chief glycoprotein components of airway mucus, and elevated expression of these during mucous metaplasia precedes the hypersecretory phenotype. Five orthologous genes (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6, and MUC19) encode the mammalian gel-forming mucin family, and several have been implicated in asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pathologies. However, in the absence of a comprehensive analysis, their relative contributions remain unclear. Here, we assess the expression of the entire gel-forming mucin gene family in allergic mouse airways and show that Muc5ac is the predominant gel-forming mucin induced. We previously showed that the induction of mucous metaplasia in ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged mouse lungs occurs within bronchial Clara cells. The temporal induction and localization of Muc5ac transcripts correlate with the induced expression and localization of mucin glycoproteins in bronchial airways. To better understand the tight regulation of Muc5ac expression, we analyzed all available 5'-flanking sequences of mammalian MUC5AC orthologs and identified evolutionarily conserved regions within domains proximal to the mRNA coding region. Analysis of luciferase reporter gene activity in a mouse transformed Clara cell line demonstrates that this region possesses strong promoter activity and harbors multiple conserved transcription factor-binding motifs. In particular, SMAD4 and HIF-1alpha bind to the promoter, and mutation of their recognition motifs abolishes promoter function. In conclusion, Muc5ac expression is the central event in antigen-induced mucous metaplasia, and phylogenetically conserved 5' noncoding domains control its regulation.

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Available from: Christopher Evans, Dec 02, 2014
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    • "Our aim of this study is to find a critical mechanism of MUC5AC expression regulation in human gastrointestinal cells. To date, HIF-1α [21], Smad4 [21], [22], Sp1 [22], GATA-4/-6, and HNF-1/-4 [23] are reported to activate murine MUC5AC. Sp1 and Gli are reported to enhance MUC5AC expression in human lung-epithelial and pancreatic cancer cells, respectively [24], [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: MUC5AC is a well-known gastric differentiation marker, which has been frequently used for the classification of stomach cancer. Immunohistochemistry revealed that expression of MUC5AC decreases accompanied with increased malignant property of gastric mucosa, which further suggests the importance of MUC5AC gene regulation. Alignment of the 5'-flanking regions of MUC5AC gene of 13 mammal species denoted high homology within 200 bp upstream of the coding region. Luciferase activities of the deletion constructs containing upstream 451 bp or shorter fragments demonstrated that 15 bp region between -111 and -125 bp plays a critical role on MUC5AC promoter activity in gastrointestinal cells. We found a putative Gli-binding site in this 15 bp sequence, and named this region a highly conserved region containing a Gli-binding site (HCR-Gli). Overexpression of Gli homologs (Gli1, Gli2, and Gli3) clearly enhanced MUC5AC promoter activity. Exogenous modulation of Gli1 and Gli2 also affected the endogenous MUC5AC gene expression in gastrointestinal cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that Gli1 directly binds to HCR-Gli: Gli regulates MUC5AC transcription via direct protein-DNA interaction. Conversely, in the 30 human cancer cell lines and various normal tissues, expression patterns of MUC5AC and Gli did not coincide wholly: MUC5AC showed cell line-specific or tissue-specific expression whereas Gli mostly revealed ubiquitous expression. Luciferase promoter assays suggested that the far distal MUC5AC promoter region containing upstream 4010 bp seems to have several enhancer elements for gene transcription. In addition, treatments with DNA demethylation reagent and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor induced MUC5AC expression in several cell lines that were deficient in MUC5AC expression. These results indicated that Gli is necessary but not sufficient for MUC5AC expression: namely, the multiple regulatory mechanisms should work in the distal promoter region of MUC5AC gene.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e106106. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106106 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The presence of the HRE region is critical because its mutation inactivates the transcriptional response to hypoxia [19], [20]. We have noticed that the promoter region of the MUC5AC gene, studied by Li D. et al. [21] or Young HW et al. [22], contains a sequence that is very similar to the HRE, located within a 70-bp region upstream of the transcriptional start site. In this study, we have aimed to characterize this sequence as a functionally active HRE and gain greater understanding of the mechanism of hypoxia-induced MUC5AC gene regulation in nasal epithelium. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Excessive mucus production is typical in various upper airway diseases. In sinusitis, the expression of MUC5AC, a major respiratory mucin gene, increases. However, the mechanisms leading to mucus hypersecretion in sinusitis have not been characterized. Hypoxia due to occlusion of the sinus ostium is one of the major pathologic mechanisms of sinusitis, but there have been no reports regarding the mechanism of hypoxia-induced mucus hypersecretion. Methods and Findings This study aims to identify whether hypoxia may induce mucus hypersecretion and elucidate its mechanism. Normal human nasal epithelial (NHNE) cells and human lung mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell line (NCI-H292) were used. Sinus mucosa from patients was also tested. Anoxic condition was in an anaerobic chamber with a 95% N2/5% CO2 atmosphere. The regulatory mechanism of MUC5AC by anoxia was investigated using RT-PCR, real-time PCR, western blot, ChIP, electrophoretic mobility shift, and luciferase assay. We show that levels of MUC5AC mRNA and the corresponding secreted protein increase in anoxic cultured NHNE cells. The major transcription factor for hypoxia-related signaling, HIF-1α, is induced during hypoxia, and transfection of a mammalian expression vector encoding HIF-1α results in increased MUC5AC mRNA levels under normoxic conditions. Moreover, hypoxia-induced expression of MUC5AC mRNA is down-regulated by transfected HIF-1α siRNA. We found increased MUC5AC promoter activity under anoxic conditions, as indicated by a luciferase reporter assay, and mutation of the putative hypoxia-response element in MUC5AC promoter attenuated this activity. Binding of over-expressed HIF-1α to the hypoxia-response element in the MUC5AC promoter was confirmed. In human sinusitis mucosa, which is supposed to be hypoxic, expression of MUC5AC and HIF-1α is higher than in control mucosa. Conclusion The results indicate that anoxia up-regulates MUC5AC by the HIF-1α signaling pathway in human nasal epithelia and suggest that hypoxia might be a pathogenic mechanism of mucus hypersecretion in sinusitis.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e98136. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0098136 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, both mucins were upregulated in the absence of IL-12p40, predominantly Muc5ac. Muc5b has been identified as the predominant secreted gel-forming mucin expressed in healthy adult murine lungs [43], [44], whereas Muc5ac is the most predominantly induced gel-forming mucin in antigen challenged murine lungs [43] and the one expressed by human airway epithelial cells [45]. Overall, our data suggest that Muc5ac is predominantly induced in the lungs of hMPV-infected mice and its production is regulated by the expression of IL-12p40. "
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that regulate the host immune response induced by human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a newly-recognized member of the Paramyxoviridae family, are largely unknown. Cytokines play an important role in modulating inflammatory responses during viral infections. IL-12p40, a known important mediator in limiting lung inflammation, is induced by hMPV and its production is sustained after the resolution phase of infection suggesting that this cytokine plays a role in the immune response against hMPV. In this work, we demonstrated that in mice deficient in IL-12p40, hMPV infection induced an exacerbated pulmonary inflammatory response and mucus production, altered cytokine response, and decreased lung function. However, hMPV infection in these mice does not have an effect on viral replication. These results identify an important regulatory role of IL-12p40 in hMPV infection.
    PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e37173. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0037173 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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