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J Biol Chem. 1990 Dec 5;265(34):20822-8.

Phorbol ester inhibits surfactant protein SP-A and SP-B expression.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary Biology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio 45267-0541.


Effects of the tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), on expression of pulmonary surfactant proteins, SP-A and SP-B, were determined in a human pulmonary adenocarcinoma cell line (H441-4). TPA decreased cellular SP-A content in association with decreased de novo synthesis of SP-A as assessed by [35S]methionine incorporation. Effects of TPA were time (0-72 h) and dose (IC50 0.5-1.0 nM)-dependent. Phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu), and adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), and 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol also decreased SP-A content in these cells. Characteristics of inhibition of SP-A content by PDBu were similar to those of [3H]PDBu binding to H441-4 cells. Inhibitory effects of TPA on SP-A synthesis were associated with concomitant decreases in SP-A mRNA. Expression of a distinct surfactant protein, SP-B, was also markedly decreased after exposure to TPA. SP-A and SP-B mRNA contents decreased more rapidly after treatment with TPA than after actinomycin D. Actinomycin D completely blocked the rapid decrease in SP-A and SP-B mRNAs caused by the phorbol ester, consistent with the concept that the inhibitory effect of TPA on the surfactant protein mRNAs required continued gene transcription and was not mediated solely by changes in SP-A or SP-B transcription. Inhibitory effects of phorbol esters on SP-A and SP-B synthesis support the concept that protein kinase C modulates surfactant protein expression in this cell.

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