Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 Jun;300(6):L940-50. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00420.2010. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Glucocorticoid regulation of human pulmonary surfactant protein-B (SP-B) mRNA stability is independent of activated glucocorticoid receptor.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, USA.


Adequate expression of surfactant protein-B (SP-B) is critical in the function of pulmonary surfactant to reduce alveolar surface tension. Expression of SP-B mRNA is restricted to specific lung-airway epithelial cells, and human SP-B mRNA stability is increased in the presence of the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX). Although the mechanism of SP-B mRNA stabilization by DEX is unknown, studies suggest involvement of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). We developed a dual-cistronic plasmid-based expression assay in which steady-state levels of SP-B mRNA, determined by Northern analysis, reproducibly reflect changes in SP-B mRNA stability. Using this assay, we found that steady-state levels of SP-B mRNA increased greater than twofold in transfected human-airway epithelial cells (A549) incubated with DEX (10(-7) M). DEX-mediated changes in SP-B mRNA levels required the presence of the SP-B mRNA 3'-untranslated region but did not require ongoing protein synthesis. The effect of DEX on SP-B mRNA levels was dose dependent, with maximal effect at 10(-7) M. DEX increased levels of SP-B mRNA in cells lacking GR, and the presence of the GR antagonist RU486 did not interfere with the effect of DEX. Surprisingly, other steroid hormones (progesterone, estradiol, and vitamin D; 10(-7) M) significantly increased SP-B mRNA levels, suggesting a common pathway of steroid hormone action on SP-B mRNA stability. These results indicate that the effect of DEX to increase SP-B mRNA stability is independent of activated GR and suggests that the mechanism is mediated by posttranscriptional or nongenomic effects of glucocorticoids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk