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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jan;34(1):49-55. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

RNA interference decreases PAR-2 expression and function in human airway smooth muscle cells.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Respiratoire, INSERM E356, Universite Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 146 rue Leo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France.


Asthma is characterized by bronchial inflammation and hyperresponsiveness that involves mast cell tryptase and potentially its specific receptor protease activated receptor 2 (PAR-2). Tryptase increases free intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), a key step in activation of human airway smooth muscle cells (HASMC). The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of PAR-2 gene silencing on HASMC, in terms of calcium response, since no antagonist is available for this receptor. Five siRNA against PAR-2 were synthesized and transfected in HASMC using lipid agents, and PAR-2 expression was examined using Western blot, fluorescence-activated cell sorter, immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. [Ca2+]i was measured using microspectrofluorimetry in response to tryptase, the activating peptide SLIGKV, trypsin, or caffeine. Two siRNA significantly inhibited PAR-2 expression in terms of both total and surface protein expression, as well as mRNA levels. Tryptase- and SLIGKV-induced transient increase in [Ca2+]i was significantly inhibited after transfection with the most appropriate siRNA, whereas neither trypsin nor caffeine response was altered. Two control siRNA had no effect in terms of both PAR-2 expression and calcium response. Transfection efficiency was maximal after 24 h and disappeared after 48 h. Gene silencing using siRNA can thus be used in vitro to assess the function of PAR-2 in HASMC.

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