Asthma is a common chronic disease mainly occurs from childhood. Increased airway smooth muscle mass is involved in the pathogenesis of asthma. Fibulin-5 was upregulated in the lung tissues of patients with COPD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This study aimed to investigate Fibulin-5 expression in asthmatic patients and the effect and mechanism of Fibulin-5 on the proliferation and migration of airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs). The expression of Fibulin-5, YAP, and TAZ in the induced sputum of 38 asthmatic children (19 mild and 19 moderate asthmatics) and 19 healthy controls was determined. The effects and mechanisms of Fibulin-5 on the proliferation and migration of ASMCs were analyzed through upregulating Fibulin-5. We found compared with healthy controls, the expression of Fibulin-5, YAP, and TAZ was increased in the induced sputum of asthmatic children and much higher in moderate asthmatics. Fibulin-5 overexpression promoted the proliferation and migration of ASMCs, upregulated the expression of YAP and TAZ, and reduced the levels of p-YAP and p-TAZ. YAP inhibitor (Peptide 17) abrogated the proliferation and migration of ASMCs induced by Fibulin-5 overexpression in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, Fibulin-5 overexpression enhanced its binding capacity of β1 integrin, and β1 integrin blocking antibody partly reversed the effect of Fibulin-5 overexpression on the levels of YAP and TAZ. In conclusion, Fibulin-5 expression is correlated with the pathogenesis of childhood asthma. It may function at least partly through binding to β1 integrin and modulating Hippo-YAP/TAZ pathway to promote the proliferation and migration of ASMCs.
Keywords: Airway smooth muscle cell; Asthma; Fibulin-5; Hippo-YAP/TAZ pathway; β1 integrin.
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