Induction of the inflammatory regulator A20 by gibberellic acid in airway epithelial cells

J. A. Reihill, B Malcomson, A. Bertelsen, S Cheung, Agnieszka Czerwiec, R Barsden, J S Elborn, H Dürkop, B Hirsch, M Ennis, C Kelly, B C Schock

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: NF-κB-driven inflammation is negatively regulated by the zinc finger protein A20. Gibberellic acid (GA3 ) is a plant-derived diterpenoid with documented anti-inflammatory activity, which is reported to induce A20-like zinc finger proteins in plants. Here, we sought to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of GA3 in airway epithelial cells and determine if the anti-inflammatory action relates to A20 induction.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Primary nasal epithelial cells and a human bronchial epithelial cell line (16HBE14o-) were used. Cells were pre-incubated with GA3 , stimulated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa LPS; IL-6 and IL-8 release, A20, NF-κB and IκBα expression were then evaluated. To determine if any observed anti-inflammatory effect occurred via an A20-dependent mechanism, A20 was silenced using siRNA.

KEY RESULTS: Cells pre-incubated with GA3 had significantly increased levels of A20 mRNA (4 h) and protein (24 h), resulting in a significant reduction in IL-6 and IL-8 release. This effect was mediated via reduced IκBα degradation and reduced NF-κB (p65) expression. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory action of GA3 was abolished in A20-silenced cells.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We showed that A20 induction by GA3 attenuates inflammation in airway epithelial cells, at least in part through its effect on NF-κB and IκBα. GA3 or gibberellin-derived derivatives could potentially be developed into anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases associated with A20 dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-789
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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