Reactive oxygen species and hyaluronidase 2 regulate airway epithelial hyaluronan fragmentation

Maria E. Monzon, Nevis Fregien, Nathalie Schmid, Nieves S. Falcon, Michael Campos, S. Marina Casalino-Matsuda, Rosanna Malbran Forteza

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83 Scopus citations


Hyaluronidase 2 (Hyal2) is a hyaluronan (HA)-degrading enzyme found intracellularly or/and anchored to the plasma membrane through glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). Normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE) grown at the air-liquid interphase (ALI), treated with PI-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC), exhibited increased Hyal activity in secretions and decreased protein and activity on the apical membrane, confirming that GPI-anchored Hyal2 is expressed in NHBE cells and it remains active in its soluble form. We have reported that HA degradation was mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human airways. Here we show that ROS increase Hyal2 expression and activity in NHBE cells and that the p38MAPK signaling pathway is involved in this effect. Hyal2 induction was confirmed by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) expressing lentivirus. These in vitro findings correlated in vivo with smokers, where increased Hyal2 immunoreactivity in the epithelium was associated with augmented levels of HA and the appearance of low molecular mass HA species in bronchial secretions. In summary, this work provides evidence that ROS induce Hyal2, suggesting that Hyal2 is likely responsible for the sustained HA fragmentation in the airway lumen observed in inflammatory conditions associated with oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26126-26134
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 20 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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