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JCI early table of contents for July 9, 2012
Date:7/9/2012

Breathing easy: keeping airways open

Asthma is an increasingly common chronic disorder characterized by wheezing and shortness of breath. Symptoms are caused by excessive airway smooth muscle contraction; however mechanisms serving to keep airways open are not fully understood. Dean Sheppard and colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco have revealed a pathway required for preventing exaggerated airway smooth muscle contraction. Their work investigates a protein called α9β1, which is highly expressed in airway smooth muscle, and makes use of a mouse model that lacks α9β1 in smooth muscle. These mice exhibited increased airway narrowing, suggesting that α9β1 inhibits smooth muscle contraction. The enzyme SSAT, which breaks down polyamines such as spermine and spermidine, is known to bind α9β1 and is required for α9β1-mediated cell movement. Their results show that SSAT is also involved in restraining airway smooth muscle contraction, likely downstream of α9β1. Their work provides insight into a pathway counteracting airway contraction, which could be used to develop treatment options that prevent asthma symptoms.

TITLE:
Integrin α9β1 in airway smooth muscle suppresses exaggerated airway narrowing

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Dean Sheppard
UCSF, San Francisco, CA, USA
Phone: 415-514-4269; Fax: 415-514-4278; E-mail: dean.sheppard@ucsf.edu

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/60387?key=85724bb916ec4ac0fed8


METABOLISM

Crosstalk between glucose and lipid metabolism

Regulating metabolism requires coordination of the production, storage, and breakdown of nutrients in response to both availability and demand. Such regulation requires complex pat
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Contact: Sarah Jackson
press_releases@the-jci.org
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Source:Eurekalert

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