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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2014 Sep;18(9):1023-34. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2014.934813. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

β-catenin as a regulator and therapeutic target for asthmatic airway remodeling.

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1
University of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD, Department of Molecular Pharmacology , A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen , The Netherlands +31 50 363 8177 ; +31 50 363 6908 ; r.gosens@rug.nl.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pathological alteration in the airway structure, termed as airway remodeling, is a hallmark feature of individuals with asthma and has been described to negatively impact lung function in asthmatics. Recent studies have raised considerable interest in the regulatory role of β-catenin in remodeling asthmatic airways. The WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway is the key to normal lung development and tightly coordinates the maintenance of tissue homeostasis under steady-state conditions. Several studies indicate the crucial role of β-catenin signaling in airway remodeling in asthma and suggest that this pathway may be activated by both the growth factors and mechanical stimuli such as bronchoconstriction.

AREAS COVERED:

In this review, we discuss recent literature regarding the mechanisms of β-catenin signaling activation and its mechanistic role in asthmatic airway remodeling. Further, we discuss the possibilities of therapeutic targeting of β-catenin.

EXPERT OPINION:

The aberrant activation of β-catenin signaling by both WNT-dependent and -independent mechanisms in asthmatic airways plays a key role in remodeling the airways, including cell proliferation, differentiation, tissue repair and extracellular matrix production. These findings are interesting from both a mechanistic and therapeutic perspective, as several drug classes have now been described that target β-catenin signaling directly.

KEYWORDS:

WNT; airway smooth muscle; asthma; catenin

PMID:
25005144
DOI:
10.1517/14728222.2014.934813
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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