Maria E. Monzon

University of Miami, كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States

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Publications (18)41.82 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke (CigS) exposure is associated with increased bronchial epithelial permeability and impaired barrier function. Primary cultures of normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells exposed to CigS exhibit decreased e-cadherin expression and reduced trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER). These effects were mediated by hyaluronan (HA) since inhibition of its synthesis with 4-metyllumberiferone prevented, while exposure to HA fragments of <70 kDa, mimicked these effects. We show that the HA receptor layilin is expressed apically in human airway epithelium and that cells infected with lentivirus expressing layilin siRNA were protected against increased permeability triggered by both, CigS and HA. We identified RhoA/ROCK as the signaling effectors downstream layilin. In summary HA fragments generated by CigS bind to layilin and signal though Rho/ROCK to inhibit e-cadherin gene and protein expression, leading to a loss of epithelial cell-cell contact. These studies suggest that HA functions as a master switch protecting or disrupting the epithelial barrier in its high vs. low molecular weight forms, and that its depolymerization is a first and necessary step triggering the inflammatory response to CigS.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2012; DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.387795 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2011 International Conference, May 13-18, 2011 • Denver Colorado; 05/2011
  • American Thoracic Society 2011 International Conference, May 13-18, 2011 • Denver Colorado; 05/2011
  • American Thoracic Society 2011 International Conference, May 13-18, 2011 • Denver Colorado; 05/2011
  • American Thoracic Society 2011 International Conference, May 13-18, 2011 • Denver Colorado; 05/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke represents a major risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a respiratory condition associated with airflow obstruction, mucus hypersecretion, chronic inflammation, and upregulation of inflammatory mediators such as the monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). MCP-1 through its receptor CCR2 induces chemotaxis and activates (44/42)MAPK, a kinase known to play a key role in mucin regulation in bronchial epithelium. In the present study we used differentiated primary cultures of normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells to test whether MCP-1 through its receptor CCR2 induces mucin upregulation. We have provided evidence that NHBE cells release MCP-1 to the epithelial surface and express the CCR2B isoform of the receptor mainly at the apical pole. In addition, we found that MCP-1 has a novel function in airway epithelium, increasing the two major airway mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B, an effect mediated, at least in part, by a cascade of events initiated by interaction of its receptor CCR2B with G(q) subunits in caveolae, followed by PLCβ, PKC, and (44/42)MAPK activation. We also have shown that MCP-1 is able to induce its own expression using the same receptor but through a different pathway that involves RhoA GTPase. Furthermore, we found that a single exposure to MCP-1 is enough to induce MCP-1 secretion and sustained mucin upregulation up to 7 days after initial exposure, an effect mediated by CCR2B as confirmed using short hairpin RNA. These results agree with our data in smoker's airway epithelium, where CCR2B is present in MUC5AC- and MUC5B-expressing cells and augmented MCP-1 expression is associated with increased MUC5AC and MUC5B immunolabeling, suggesting that the mechanisms described in primary cell cultures in the present study are operative in vivo. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting MCP-1/CCR2B may be useful in preventing not only influx of inflammatory cells to the airways but also mucus hypersecretion and goblet cell hyperplasia.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 02/2011; 300(2):L204-15. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00292.2010 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyaluronidase 2 (Hyal2) is a hyaluronan (HA)-degrading enzyme found intracellularly or/and anchored to the plasma membrane through glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). Normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE) grown at the air-liquid interphase (ALI), treated with PI-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC), exhibited increased Hyal activity in secretions and decreased protein and activity on the apical membrane, confirming that GPI-anchored Hyal2 is expressed in NHBE cells and it remains active in its soluble form. We have reported that HA degradation was mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human airways. Here we show that ROS increase Hyal2 expression and activity in NHBE cells and that the p38MAPK signaling pathway is involved in this effect. Hyal2 induction was confirmed by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) expressing lentivirus. These in vitro findings correlated in vivo with smokers, where increased Hyal2 immunoreactivity in the epithelium was associated with augmented levels of HA and the appearance of low molecular mass HA species in bronchial secretions. In summary, this work provides evidence that ROS induce Hyal2, suggesting that Hyal2 is likely responsible for the sustained HA fragmentation in the airway lumen observed in inflammatory conditions associated with oxidative stress.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2010; 285(34):26126-34. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.135194 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 14-19, 2010 • New Orleans; 05/2010
  • American Thoracic Society 2009 International Conference, May 15-20, 2009 • San Diego, California; 04/2009
  • American Thoracic Society 2009 International Conference, May 15-20, 2009 • San Diego, California; 04/2009
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    ABSTRACT: Mucus hypersecretion with elevated MUC5B mucin production is a pathologic feature in many airway diseases associated with oxidative stress. In the present work, we evaluated MUC5B expression in airways and in primary cultures of normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells, as well as the mechanisms involved in its regulation. We found that oxidative stress generated by cigarette smoke or reactive oxygen species (ROS) induces MUC5B up-regulation in airway epithelium from smokers and in NHBE cells, respectively. We have previously shown that ROS-induced MUC5AC expression in NHBE cells is dependent on hyaluronan depolymerization and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. Since hyaluronan fragments can activate MAPK through the hyaluronan receptor CD44, and CD44 heterodimerizes with EGFR, we tested whether ROS and/or hyaluronan fragments induce MUC5B mRNA and protein expression through CD44/EGFR. We found that ROS promotes CD44/EGFR interaction, EGFR/MAPK activation, and MUC5B up-regulation that are prevented by blocking CD44 and/or EGFR. These results were mimicked by hyaluronan fragments. In summary, our results show that oxidative stress in vivo (cigarette smoke) or in vitro (ROS) induces MUC5B up-regulation. This ROS-induced MUC5B expression requires CD44 as well as EGFR and MAPK activation. In addition, we also provide evidence that hyaluronan fragments are sufficient to induce CD44/EGFR interaction and downstream signaling that results in MUC5B up-regulation, suggesting that hyaluronan depolymerization during inflammatory responses could be directly involved in the induction of mucus hypersecretion.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 09/2008; 40(3):277-85. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2008-0073OC · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking is associated with attenuated endothelium-dependent vasodilation (endothelial dysfunction) in the systemic circulation, including the airway circulation. We wished to determine whether an inhaled corticosteroid could restore endothelial function in the airway of lung-healthy current smokers, ex-smokers, and nonsmokers. We measured baseline airway blood flow (Qaw) and Qaw reactivity to inhaled albuterol as an index of endothelium-dependent vasodilation and to sublingual nitroglycerin as an index of endothelium-independent vasodilation in lung-healthy current smokers, ex-smokers, and nonsmokers. Current smokers were then treated with inhaled fluticasone for 3 wk, and all measurements were repeated after fluticasone treatment and after a subsequent 3-wk fluticasone washout period. Baseline mean Qaw and endothelium-independent Qaw reactivity were similar in the three groups. Mean endothelium-dependent Qaw reactivity was 49.5% in nonsmokers, 42.7% in ex-smokers, and 10.8% in current smokers (P < 0.05 vs. nonsmokers). In current smokers, mean baseline Qaw was unchanged after fluticasone treatment, but endothelium-dependent Qaw reactivity significantly increased to 34.9%. Qaw reactivity was again blunted after fluticasone washout. Endothelial dysfunction, as assessed by vascular reactivity, can be corrected with an inhaled corticosteroid in the airway of lung-healthy current smokers. This proof of concept can serve as the basis for future clinical investigations on the effect of glucocorticoids on endothelial function in smokers.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 07/2008; 105(1):54-7. DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.90334.2008 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyaluronan (HA) is present at the apical surface of airway epithelium as a high-molecular-weight polymer. Since HA depolymerization initiates a cascade of events that results in kinin generation and growth factor processing, in the present work we used primary cultures of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells grown at the air-liquid interface (ALI) to assess hyaluronidase (Hyal) activity by HA zymography, gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR, and localization by confocal microscopy. Because TNF-alpha and IL-1beta induce Hyals in other cells, we tested their effects on Hyals expression and activity. We found that Hyal-like activity is present in the apical and basolateral secretions from HBE cells where Hyals 1, 2, and 3 are expressed, and that IL-1beta acts synergistically with TNF-alpha to increase gene expression and activity. Confocal microscopy showed that Hyals 1, 2, and 3 were localized intracellularly, while Hyal2 was also expressed at the apical pole associated with the plasma membrane, and in a soluble form on the apical secretions. Tissue sections from normal individuals and from individuals with asthma showed a Hyal distribution pattern similar to that observed on nontreated HBE cells or exposed to cytokines, respectively. In addition, increased expression and activity were observed in tracheal sections and in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) obtained from subjects with asthma when compared with normal lung donors and healthy volunteers. Our observations indicate that Hyal 1, 2, and 3 are expressed in airway epithelium and may operate in a coordinated fashion to depolymerize HA during inflammation associated with up-regulation of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, such as allergen-induced asthmatic responses.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 05/2008; 39(3):289-95. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2007-0361OC · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TSG-6 (the protein product of TNF-stimulated gene-6), an inflammation-associated protein, forms covalent complexes with heavy chains (HCs) from inter-alpha-inhibitor and pre-alpha-inhibitor and associates noncovalently with their common bikunin chain, potentiating the antiplasmin activity of this serine protease inhibitor. We show that TSG-6 and TSG-6.HC complexes are present in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with asthma and increase after allergen challenge. Immunodetection demonstrated elevated TSG-6 in the airway tissue and secretions of smokers. Experiments conducted in vitro with purified components revealed that bikunin.HC complexes (byproducts of TSG-6.HC formation) release bikunin. Immunoprecipitation revealed that bikunin accounts for a significant proportion of tissue kallikrein inhibition in bronchoalveolar lavage after allergen challenge but not in baseline conditions, confirming that bikunin in its free state, but not when associated with HCs, is a relevant protease inhibitor in airway secretions. In primary cultures of differentiated human airway epithelial and submucosal gland cells, TSG-6 is induced by TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, which suggests that these cells are responsible for TSG-6 release in vivo. Bikunin and HC3 (i.e., pre-alpha-inhibitor) were also induced by TNF-alpha in primary cultures. Our results suggest that TSG-6 may play an important protective role in bronchial epithelium by increasing the antiprotease screen on the airway lumen.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 02/2007; 36(1):20-31. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2006-0018OC · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mucus overproduction in inflammatory and obstructive airway diseases is associated with goblet cell (GC) metaplasia in airways. Although the mechanisms involved in GC metaplasia and mucus hypersecretion are not completely understood, association with oxidative stress and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling has been reported. To explore the mechanisms involved in oxidative stress-induced GC metaplasia, cultures of differentiated normal human bronchial epithelial cells grown at the air-liquid interface were exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by xanthine/xanthine oxidase. EGFR activation and signaling was assessed by measuring EGF and transforming growth factor-alpha release and EGFR and (44/42)MAPK phosphorylation. The GC population was evaluated by confocal microscopy. ROS-induced EGFR activation resulted in GC proliferation and increased MUC5AC gene and protein expression. Signaling was due to pro-EGF processing by tissue kallikrein (TK), which was activated by ROS-induced hyaluronan breakdown. It was inhibited by catalase, a TK inhibitor, and EGF-blocking antibodies. Exposure to recombinant TK mimicked the ROS effects, increasing the expression of MUC5AC and lactoperoxidase. In addition, ROS induced the antiapoptotic factor Bcl-2 in a TK-dependent fashion. In conclusion, ROS-induced GC metaplasia in normal human bronchial epithelial cells is associated with HA depolymerization and EGF processing by TK followed by EGFR signaling, suggesting that increases in TK activity could contribute to GC metaplasia and mucus hypersecretion in diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. The data also suggest that increases in GC population could be sustained by the associated upregulation of Bcl-2 in airway epithelial cells.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 06/2006; 34(5):581-91. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2005-0386OC · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), known to be present in airway mucus, are macromolecules with a variety of structural and biological functions. In the present work, we used fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis (FACE) to identify and relatively quantify GAGs in human tracheal aspirates (HTA) obtained from healthy volunteers. Primary cultures of normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) and submucosal gland (SMG) cells were used to assess their differential contribution to GAGs in mucus. Distribution was further assessed by immunofluorescence in human trachea tissue sections and in cell cultures. HTA samples contained keratan sulfate (KS), chondroitin/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS), and hyaluronan (HA), whereas heparan sulfate (HS) was not detected. SMG cultures secreted CS/DS and HA, CS/DS being the most abundant GAGs in these cultures. NHBE cells synthesized KS, HA, and CS/DS. Confocal microscopy showed that KS was exclusively found at the apical border of NHBE cells and on the apical surface of ciliated epithelial cells in tracheal tissues. CS/DS and HA were present in both NHBE and SMG cells. HS was only found in the extracellular matrix in trachea tissue sections. In summary, HTA samples contain KS, CS/DS, and HA, mirroring a mixture of secretions originated in surface epithelial cells and SMGs. We conclude that surface epithelium is responsible for most HA and all KS present in secretions, whereas glands secrete most of CS/DS. These data suggest that, in diseases where the contribution to secretions of glands versus epithelial cells is altered, the relative concentration of individual GAGs, and therefore their biological activities, will also be affected.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 03/2006; 34(2):135-41. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2005-0256OC · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In human airways, oxidative stress-induced submucosal gland cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia, histological features of chronic bronchitis, have been linked to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation. To explore mechanisms of oxidative stress-induced EGFR activation and signaling, primary cultures of human tracheal submucosal gland (SMG) cells were used to assess EGFR ligand release, EGFR phosphorylation, p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation, and mucin 5AC synthesis in response to reactive oxygen species generated by xanthine/xanthine oxidase (X/XO). Exposure to X/XO increased release of epidermal growth factor (EGF) from these cells, thereby activating EGFR, phosphorylating MAPK, and increasing mucin 5AC production. The importance of EGF was confirmed by transfection of small interfering RNA inhibiting pro-EGF production, which resulted in inhibition of EGFR and MAPK phosphorylation despite X/XO exposure. Blocking signaling by using specific protease inhibitors showed that tissue kallikrein (TK) processed pro-EGF in response to X/XO. Airway TK is bound and inactivated by luminal hyaluronan (HA), and treatment of submucosal gland cells with X/XO induced HA depolymerization and TK activation. These events were blocked by reactive oxygen species scavengers and addition of exogenous excess HA and TK inhibitors. Thus, HA plays a crucial role in regulating airway TK activity and thereby TK-mediated release of active EGF from human SMG cells. Sustained HA depolymerization is expected to cause TK activation, EGF release, and EGFR signaling and to lead to SMG cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia as well as mucus hypersecretion with subsequent airflow obstruction.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2004; 279(20):21606-16. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M309950200 · 4.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

310 Citations
41.82 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2012
    • University of Miami
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Cell Biology
      كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      • Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
      Miami, Florida, United States