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Eur Respir J. 2012 Sep;40(3):714-23. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00023111. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

A role for 12R-lipoxygenase in MUC5AC expression by respiratory epithelial cells.

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  • 1Unité de Défense Innée et Inflammation Institut Pasteur, INSERM U874, 25 rue Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.


Eicosanoids are metabolites of arachidonic acid produced by cyclooxygenases (COXs) or lipoxygenases (LOXs). They mediate inflammation and mucus secretion in chronic pulmonary inflammatory diseases. The gel-forming mucin MUC5AC is over-expressed in the airways of patients with these diseases. MUC5AC expression is mediated by an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/Sp1 dependent mechanism. Our aim was to study the role of eicosanoids and their signalling pathways in MUC5AC expression. Inhibitors of 12-LOX, but not those of COX, 5-LOX or 15-LOX, reduce MUC5AC expression induced by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) in the bronchial epithelial cell line NCI-H292. These inhibitors also abrogate the production of whole mucus by cell monolayers. Two forms of 12-LOX (R and S) exist in mammals. Using siRNAs we show that 12R-LOX but not 12S-LOX is involved in MUC5AC expression induced by PMA, lipopolysaccharide or transforming growth factor-α. 12R-LOX also participates in MUC2 and MUC5B expression, although to a lesser extent than for MUC5AC. Contrarily, 12R-LOX silencing does not modify interleukin-8 production. 12-LOX inhibitors reduce ERK activation and Sp1 translocation induced by PMA. Moreover, the 12R-LOX product 12(R)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, induces MUC5AC expression, ERK activation and Sp1 translocation. 12R-LOX is involved in MUC5AC expression. This occurs via ERK- and Sp1-signalling pathways.

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