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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2005 Winter;10(4):285-95.

Developmental regulation and coordinate reexpression of FKBP65 with extracellular matrix proteins after lung injury suggest a specialized function for this endoplasmic reticulum immunophilin.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75390-9039, USA.


AFKBP65 (65-kDa FK506-binding protein) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase predicted to play a role in the folding and trafficking of secretory proteins. In previous studies, we have shown that FKBP65 is developmentally regulated and associates with the extracellular matrix protein, tropoelastin, during its maturation and transport through the ER. In this study, we show that FKBP65 is expressed in the lung with the same developmental pattern as tropoelastin and other matrix proteins. To test the hypothesis that FKBP65 is upregulated at times when extracellular matrix proteins are being actively synthesized and assembled, adult mice were treated with bleomycin to cause reinitiation of matrix protein production during the ensuing development of pulmonary fibrosis. After bleomycin instillation, FKBP65 expression was reactivated in the lung with a pattern similar to that observed for tropoelastin and type I collagen. Using human lung fibroblast cultures, we showed that FKBP65 does not undergo the unfolded protein response, a response associated with an upregulation of resident ER proteins that occurs after increased ER stress. When fibroblasts were treated with transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, which is upregulated during the development of pulmonary fibrosis and known to induce matrix production, FKBP65 expression and synthesis was also increased. Similar to type I collagen and tropoelastin, this response was completely inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by GGTI-298, a geranylgeranyl transferase I inhibitor. Treatment of fibroblasts with an inhibitor of ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase II after TGF-beta1 treatment showed that the effect of TGF-beta1 was not because of increased stabilization of the FKBP65 messenger RNA. In summary, we have shown that FKBP65 is highly expressed in lung development, downregulated in the adult, and can be reactivated in a coordinated manner with extracellular matrix proteins after lung injury. The expression pattern of FKBP65, which is atypical for general ER foldases, suggests that FKBP65 has a distinct set of developmentally regulated protein ligands. The response to injury, which may be in part a direct response to TGF-beta1, assures the presence of FKBP65 in the ER of cells actively producing components of the extracellular matrix.

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