Lipopolysaccharide stimulates syntheses of toll-like receptor 2 and surfactant protein-A in human alveolar epithelial A549 cells through upregulating phosphorylation of MEK1 and ERK1/2 and sequential activation of NF-κB.

PMID 21474333


Surfactant proteins (SPs) and toll-like receptors (TLRs) contribute to regulation of sepsis-induced acute lung injury. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is one of the major causes of septic shock. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of LPS on the regulation of tlr-2 and sp-a gene expression in human alveolar epithelial A549 cells and the possible mechanisms. Exposure of A549 cells to LPS increased the expressions of TLR2 and SP-A mRNA and protein in time-dependent manners. A search using a bioinformatic approach found that there are several nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB)-DNA-binding motifs in the promoter region of the tlr2 and sp-a genes. Immunoblotting analyses revealed that exposure to LPS time-dependently enhanced the translocation of NF-κB from the cytoplasm to nuclei. Analyses of an electrophoretic mobility shift assay further showed that LPS augmented the transactivation activity of NF-κB to its consensus oligonucleotides in A549cells. Sequentially, treatment of A549 cells with LPS increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and MAPK kinase-1 (MEK1). Pretreatment with PD98059, an inhibitor of ERK1/2, significantly decreased LPS-induced TLR2 and SP-A mRNA expression.

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