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FASEB J. 2006 May;20(7):1000-2. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Transcriptional regulation of CD38 expression by tumor necrosis factor-alpha in human airway smooth muscle cells: role of NF-kappaB and sensitivity to glucocorticoids.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1971 Commonwealth Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.


The transmembrane glycoprotein CD38 catalyzes the synthesis of the calcium mobilizing molecule cyclic ADP-ribose from NAD. In human airway smooth muscle (HASM) cells, the expression and function of CD38 are augmented by the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), leading to increased intracellular calcium response to agonists. A glucocorticoid response element in the CD38 gene has been computationally described, providing evidence for transcriptional regulation of its expression. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid, on CD38 expression and ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity in HASM cells stimulated with TNF-alpha. In HASM cells, TNF-alpha augmented CD38 expression and ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity, which were attenuated by dexamethasone. TNF-alpha increased NF-kappaB expression and its activation, and dexamethasone partially reversed these effects. TNF-alpha increased the expression of IkappaBalpha, and dexamethasone increased it further. An inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation or transfection of cells with IkappaB mutants decreased TNF-alpha-induced CD38 expression. The results indicate that TNF-alpha-induced CD38 expression involves NF-kappaB expression and its activation and dexamethasone inhibits CD38 expression through NF-kappaB-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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