Department of Pediatrics; Gene Therapy Center
Medical Subject Headings
Aspergillus fumigatus; Asthma; Group IV Phospholipases A2; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Allergy and Immunology | Genetics and Genomics | Pediatrics | Respiratory Tract Diseases
Airway inflammation in allergen-induced asthma is associated with eicosanoid release. These bioactive lipids exhibit anti- and pro-inflammatory activities with relevance to pulmonary pathophysiology. We hypothesized that sensitization/challenge using an extract from the ubiquitous fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (Af), in a mouse model of allergic asthma would result in altered phospholipase gene expression, thus modulating the downstream eicosanoid pathway. We observed the most significant induction in the group IVC phospholipase A2 (cPLA2γ or PLA2G4C). Our results infer that Af extract can induce cPLA2γ levels directly in eosinophils while induction in lung epithelial cells is most likely a consequence of TNF-α secretion by Af-activated macrophages. The mechanism of TNF-α-dependent induction of cPLA2γ gene expression was elucidated through a combination of promoter deletions, ChIP and overexpression studies in human bronchoepithelial cells, leading to the identification of functionally relevant CRE, NF-κB and E-box promoter elements. ChIP analysis demonstrated that RNA polymerase II, c-Jun/ATF-2, p65/p65 and USF1/USF2 complexes are recruited to the cPLA2γ enhancer/promoter in response to TNF-α with overexpression and dominant negative studies implying a strong level of cooperation and interplay between these factors. Overall, our data link cytokine-mediated alterations in cPLA2γ gene expression with allergic asthma and outline a complex regulatory mechanism.