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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2000 Mar;22(3):352-9.

Expression of betaig-h3 by human bronchial smooth muscle cells: localization To the extracellular matrix and nucleus.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Histology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6002, USA.


Bronchial smooth muscle cells play a central role in normal lung physiology by controlling airway tone. In addition, airway smooth muscle hyperplasia and hypertrophy are important factors in the pathophysiology of asthma. In this study, expression of betaig-h3, a recently identified component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), was investigated in primary human bronchial smooth muscle (HBSM) cells. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that treatment of cultured HBSM cells with transforming growth factor-beta1 resulted in a 4- to 5-fold increase in the steady-state level of betaig-h3 messenger RNA. Western blot analysis of secreted proteins using monospecific antibodies generated against peptide sequences found in the N- and C-terminal regions of the protein identified several isoforms having apparent mass of 70-74 kD. Immunohistochemical analysis of human lung localized betaig-h3 to the vascular and airway ECM, and particularly to the septal tips of alveolar ducts and alveoli, suggesting that it may have a morphogenetic role. Analysis of cultured HBSM cells identified betaig-h3 in both the ECM as well as the cytoplasm, and surprisingly also in the nucleus. These results demonstrate that betaig-h3 is produced by resident lung cells, is a component of lung ECM, and may play an important role in lung structure and function. The presence of this protein in nuclei suggests that it may have regulatory functions in addition to its role as a structural component of lung ECM.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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