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β-catenin, Twist and Snail: Transcriptional regulation of EMT in smokers and COPD, and relation to airflow obstruction


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Mahmood, MQ ORCID: 0000-0003-1333-7940, Walters, EH ORCID: 0000-0002-0993-4374, Shukla, SD, Weston, S, Muller, HK, Ward, C and Sohal, SS ORCID: 0000-0001-9627-6498 2017 , 'β-catenin, Twist and Snail: Transcriptional regulation of EMT in smokers and COPD, and relation to airflow obstruction' , Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1 , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11375-x.

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COPD is characterised by poorly reversible airflow obstruction usually due to cigarette smoking. The transcription factor clusters of β-catenin/Snail1/Twist has been implicated in the process of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), an intermediate between smoking and airway fibrosis, and indeed lung cancer. We have investigated expression of these transcription factors and their "cellular localization" in bronchoscopic airway biopsies from patients with COPD, and in smoking and non-smoking controls. An immune-histochemical study compared cellular protein expression of β-catenin, Snail1 and Twist, in these subject groups in 3 large airways compartment: epithelium (basal region), reticular basement membrane (Rbm) and underlying lamina propria (LP). β-catenin and Snail1 expression was generally high in all subjects throughout the airway wall with marked cytoplasmic to nuclear shift in COPD (P P < 0.05). In addition, β-catenin and Snail1 expression, and to lesser extent of Twist, was related to airflow obstruction and to expression of a canonical EMT biomarker (S100A4). The β-catenin-Snail1-Twist transcription factor cluster is up-regulated and nuclear translocated in smokers and COPD, and their expression is closely related to both EMT activity and airway obstruction.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mahmood, MQ and Walters, EH and Shukla, SD and Weston, S and Muller, HK and Ward, C and Sohal, SS
Keywords: COPD, lung cancer
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41598-017-11375-x
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Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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