To address the involvement of the calpain system in both basal and silica-induced nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation, several human bronchial epithelial cell lines were established in which an intracellular inhibitor of calpain, calpastatin, was stably expressed. Reduced basal and silica-induced inhibitor (IκBα) degradation and NF-κB activation were observed in cells stably overexpressing calpastatin. In addition, the cells in which calpain was constitutively inhibited by the overexpression of calpastatin exhibited a notable morphological change. Whereas empty vector-transfected cells displayed a morphology indistinguishable from that of parental cells, cells overexpressing calpastatin exhibited a mosaic morphological change with reduced formation of lamella 30 min after the cells were seeded. Genefilter microarray experiments, in which 3,965 human genes can be evaluated for their expression at the same time, showed that calpastatin downregulated genes encoding several membrane-associated proteins or nuclear proteins and upregulated genes of collagen α2, DAZ, and mitochondrial capsule selenoprotein. These results suggest that, in addition to their proteolytic activities on cytoskeletal proteins and other cellular regulatory proteins, calpain-calpastatin systems can also affect the expression levels of genes encoding structural or regulatory proteins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology