New research examines the role of PKC in airway smooth muscle contraction and raises the possibility that this enzyme could be a therapeutic target for treating asthma, COPD, and other lung diseases.
In the lungs, pathological increases in the contraction of the smooth muscle cells (SMCs) lining airway walls—a process that decreases airflow—contribute to the chain of events leading to asthma and COPD, two common lung diseases. Jose Perez-Zoghbi and colleagues from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center designed a series of experiments to investigate the role of the enzyme PKC in this process.
The results, which appear in The Journal of General Physiology, provide new insight into the mechanisms involved in regulating luminal diameter of small airways and reveal PKC as a potential target for drug therapies.
The researchers used phase-contrast video microscopy, confocal microscopy, Western blot analysis, and pharmacological activators and inhibitors to investigate the role of PKC in airway SMC contraction in mouse lung slices. Their results suggest that activation of PKC in small airways promotes an influx of calcium into SMC and subsequent intracellular release of calcium ions to generate low frequency SMC twitching.
PKC activation also induces a strong calcium ion sensitization of contraction, eliciting a stronger contractile response to stimuli that increase free intracellular calcium. Consequently, PKC activation downstream of various molecules, such as thrombin, that are present in the airways in conjunction with inflammatory lung diseases, could sensitize the airway SMCs to contractile stimuli and contribute to the airway hyper responsiveness that is characteristic of asthma and COPD.
About The Journal of General Physiology
Founded in 1918, The Journal of General Physiology (JGP) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists in conjunction with our in-house scientific editor. JGP content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license. For more information, please visit www.jgp.org.
Dixon, R.E., and L.F. Santana. 2013. J. Gen. Physiol. 141:161 Mukherjee, S., et al. 2013. J. Gen. Physiol. 141:165-178
Rita Sullivan King | EurekAlert!
Penn researchers use network science to help pinpoint source of seizures
29.01.2016 | University of Pennsylvania
Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...
Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.
Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...
NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.
Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...
The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
05.02.2016 | Life Sciences
05.02.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy