Involvement of Bcl-2 family in apoptosis and signal pathways induced by cigarette smoke extract in the human airway smooth muscle cells

DNA and Cell Biology
Weihua HuWang Ni


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a highly prevalent airway disease characterized by an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles and gases. Cigarette smoking remains a major risk factor for COPD development; however, little is known about its effect on human airway smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). The aim of this study is to examine whether apoptosis is involved in cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced HASMC death and the molecular mechanisms underlying it. Our studies have shown that CSE increased the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell apoptosis of HASMCs in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine abrogated the effect of ROS level and apoptosis on HASMCs. Further, the expression of Bax, Bad, and Fas was increased but Bcl-2 and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) was decreased in a dose- and time-dependent fashion in CSE-induced apoptosis in HASMCs. Taken together, CSE could inhibit the cell growth and induce apoptosis of HASMCs through both the mitochondrial pathway and death receptor pathway. Oxidative stress and inhibition of NF-kappaB expression caused by CSE may play important roles in apoptosis and inhibition of cell growth in HASMCs.


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BCL-2 Family Proteins

BLC-2 family proteins are a group that share the same homologous BH domain. They play many different roles including pro-survival signals, mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and removal or damaged cells. They are often regulated by phosphorylation, affecting their catalytic activity. Here is the latest research on BCL-2 family proteins.


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