Molloy, Emer L. and Adams, Aine and Moore, J. Bernadette and Masterson, Joanne C. and Madrigal-Estebas, Laura and Mahon, Bernard P. and O'Dea, Shirley
BMP4 induces an epithelial–mesenchymal transition-like response in adult airway epithelial cells.
Growth Factors, 26 (1).
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are critical morphogens and play key roles in epithelial–mesenchymal transitions
(EMTs) during embryogenesis. BMP4 is required for early mesoderm formation and also regulates morphogenesis and
epithelial cell differentiation in developing lungs. While, BMP signalling pathways are activated during lung inflammation in
adult mice, the role of BMPs in adult lungs remains unclear.We hypothesised that BMPs are involved in remodelling processes
in adult lungs and investigated effects of BMP4 on airway epithelial cells. BEAS-2B cell growth decreased in the presence of
BMP4. Cells acquired a mesenchymal-like morphology with downregulation of adherens junction proteins and increased cell
motility. Changes in extracellular matrix-related gene expression occurred with BMP4 treatment including upregulation of
collagens, fibronectin and tenascin C.We conclude that the activity of BMP4 in EMT during development is recapitulated in
adult airway epithelial cells and suggest that this activity may contribute to inflammation and fibrosis in vivo.
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