Prothymosin α overexpression contributes to the development of pulmonary emphysema

Bing Hua Su, Yau Lin Tseng, Gia Shing Shieh, Yi Cheng Chen, Ya Chieh Shiang, Pensee Wu, Kuo Jung Li, Te Hsin Yen, Ai Li Shiau, Chao Liang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Emphysema is one of the disease conditions that comprise chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prothymosin α transgenic mice exhibit an emphysema phenotype, but the pathophysiological role of prothymosin α in emphysema remains unclear. Here we show that prothymosin α contributes to the pathogenesis of emphysema by increasing acetylation of histones and nuclear factor-kappaB, particularly upon cigarette smoke exposure. We find a positive correlation between prothymosin α levels and the severity of emphysema in prothymosin α transgenic mice and emphysema patients. Prothymosin α overexpression increases susceptibility to cigarette smoke-induced emphysema, and cigarette smoke exposure further enhances prothymosin α expression. We show that prothymosin α inhibits the association of histone deacetylases with histones and nuclear factor-kappaB, and that prothymosin α overexpression increases expression of nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent matrix metalloproteinase 2 and matrix metalloproteinase 9, which are found in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These results demonstrate the clinical relevance of prothymosin α in regulating acetylation events during the pathogenesis of emphysema.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1906
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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