The Biochemical journal

TNF induces the expression of the sialyltransferase ST3Gal IV in human bronchial mucosa via MSK1/2 protein kinases and increases FliD/sialyl-Lewis(x)-mediated adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

PMID 24099577


We have shown previously that the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF (tumour necrosis factor) could drive sLe(x) (sialyl-Lewis(x)) biosynthesis through the up-regulation of the BX transcript isoform of the ST3GAL4 (ST3 β-galactoside α-2,3-sialyltransferase 4) sialyltransferase gene in lung epithelial cells and human bronchial mucosa. In the present study, we show that the TNF-induced up-regulation of the ST3GAL4 BX transcript is mediated by MSK1/2 (mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1/2) through the ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) and p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathways, and increases sLe(x) expression on high-molecular-mass glycoproteins in inflamed airway epithelium. We also show that the TNF-induced sLe(x) expression increases the adhesion of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and PAK strains to lung epithelial cells in a FliD-dependent manner. These results suggest that ERK and p38 MAPK, and the downstream kinase MSK1/2, should be considered as potential targets to hamper inflammation, bronchial mucin glycosylation changes and P. aeruginosa binding in the lung of patients suffering from lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis.