A Neutralizing Aptamer to TGFBR2 and miR-145 Antagonism Rescue Cigarette Smoke- and TGF-β-Mediated CFTR Expression

Academic Article


  • Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), signaling induced by cigarette smoke (CS), plays an important role in the progression of airway diseases, like chronic bronchitis associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and in smokers. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by reduced mucociliary clearance (MCC). Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) plays an important role in normal MCC. TGF-β and CS (via TGF-β) promote acquired CFTR dysfunction by suppressing CFTR biogenesis and function. Understanding the mechanism by which CS promotes CFTR dysfunction can identify therapeutic leads to reverse CFTR suppression and rescue MCC. TGF-β alters the microRNAome of primary human bronchial epithelium. TGF-β and CS upregulate miR-145-5p expression to suppress CFTR and the CFTR modifier, SLC26A9. miR-145-5p upregulation with a concomitant CFTR and SLC26A9 suppression was validated in CS-exposed mouse models. While miR-145-5p antagonism rescued the effects of TGF-β in bronchial epithelial cells following transfection, an aptamer to block TGF-β signaling rescues CS- and TGF-β-mediated suppression of CFTR biogenesis and function in the absence of any transfection reagent. These results demonstrate that miR-145-5p plays a significant role in acquired CFTR dysfunction by CS, and they validate a clinically feasible strategy for delivery by inhalation to locally modulate TGF-β signaling in the airway and rescue CFTR biogenesis and function.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Molecular Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dutta RK; Chinnapaiyan S; Rasmussen L; Raju SV; Unwalla HJ
  • Start Page

  • 442
  • End Page

  • 455
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 2