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Respir Res. 2006 Sep 1;7:114.

Microarray identifies ADAM family members as key responders to TGF-beta1 in alveolar epithelial cells.

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  • 1General Clinical Research Unit, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 7, Ireland. dkeating@mater.ie

Abstract

The molecular mechanisms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) remain elusive. Transforming Growth Factor beta 1(TGF-beta1) is a key effector cytokine in the development of lung fibrosis. We used microarray and computational biology strategies to identify genes whose expression is significantly altered in alveolar epithelial cells (A549) in response to TGF-beta1, IL-4 and IL-13 and Epstein Barr virus. A549 cells were exposed to 10 ng/ml TGF-beta1, IL-4 and IL-13 at serial time points. Total RNA was used for hybridisation to Affymetrix Human Genome U133A microarrays. Each in vitro time-point was studied in duplicate and an average RMA value computed. Expression data for each time point was compared to control and a signal log ratio of 0.6 or greater taken to identify significant differential regulation. Using normalised RMA values and unsupervised Average Linkage Hierarchical Cluster Analysis, a list of 312 extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins or modulators of matrix turnover was curated via Onto-Compare and Gene-Ontology (GO) databases for baited cluster analysis of ECM associated genes. Interrogation of the dataset using ontological classification focused cluster analysis revealed coordinate differential expression of a large cohort of extracellular matrix associated genes. Of this grouping members of the ADAM (A disintegrin and Metalloproteinase domain containing) family of genes were differentially expressed. ADAM gene expression was also identified in EBV infected A549 cells as well as IL-13 and IL-4 stimulated cells. We probed pathologenomic activities (activation and functional activity) of ADAM19 and ADAMTS9 using siRNA and collagen assays. Knockdown of these genes resulted in diminished production of collagen in A549 cells exposed to TGF-beta1, suggesting a potential role for these molecules in ECM accumulation in IPF.

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