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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 10;107(32):14170-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1009426107. Epub 2010 Jul 26.

Roles of epithelial cell-derived periostin in TGF-beta activation, collagen production, and collagen gel elasticity in asthma.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Periostin is considered to be a matricellular protein with expression typically confined to cells of mesenchymal origin. Here, by using in situ hybridization, we show that periostin is specifically up-regulated in bronchial epithelial cells of asthmatic subjects, and in vitro, we show that periostin protein is basally secreted by airway epithelial cells in response to IL-13 to influence epithelial cell function, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and extracellular matrix organization. In primary human bronchial epithelial cells stimulated with periostin and epithelial cells overexpressing periostin, we reveal a function for periostin in stimulating the TGF-beta signaling pathway in a mechanism involving matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9. Furthermore, conditioned medium from the epithelial cells overexpressing periostin caused TGF-beta-dependent secretion of type 1 collagen by airway fibroblasts. In addition, mixing recombinant periostin with type 1 collagen in solution caused a dramatic increase in the elastic modulus of the collagen gel, indicating that periostin alters collagen fibrillogenesis or cross-linking and leads to stiffening of the matrix. Epithelial cell-derived periostin in asthma has roles in TGF-beta activation and collagen gel elasticity in asthma.

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