Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(13):3320-3330. doi:10.7150/ijbs.57247 This issue

Research Paper

NEDD4L-induced β-catenin ubiquitination suppresses the formation and progression of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis via inhibiting the CTHRC1/HIF-1α axis

Lin Chen#,✉, Yang Yang#, Haiying Yan, Xiaying Peng, Jun Zou

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, P.R. China
# These authors are regarded as co-first authors.

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Citation:
Chen L, Yang Y, Yan H, Peng X, Zou J. NEDD4L-induced β-catenin ubiquitination suppresses the formation and progression of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis via inhibiting the CTHRC1/HIF-1α axis. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(13):3320-3330. doi:10.7150/ijbs.57247. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p3320.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe progressive lung disease with limited therapeutic options and poor prognosis. Initially, we found the downregulated level of neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated 4-like protein (NEDD4L) in IPF-related expression microarray dataset, and this study was thus performed to explore the molecular mechanism of NEDD4L in IPF. The expression of NEDD4L was subsequently validated in lung tissues of IPF patients and mouse models. Then, mouse primary lung fibroblasts (LFs) were collected for in vitro functional experiments, with CCK-8, Transwell, and immunofluorescence assays used to examine the viability, migration, and differentiation of LFs. The in vitro findings were further assessed using in vivo mouse models. The expression of NEDD4L was down-regulated in lung tissues of IPF patients and mouse models. Overexpression of NEDD4L restricted the formation and progression of IPF in mice and attenuated the proliferative, invasive and differentiative abilities of LFs. Further, NEDD4L halted LFs activity by enhancing β-catenin ubiquitination and down-regulating the CTHRC1/HIF-1α axis. Also, in vivo experiments then validated that NEDD4L silencing repressed β-catenin ubiquitination and activated the CTHRC1/HIF-1α axis, thereby aggravating IPF in mice. NEDD4L may suppress the formation and progression of IPF through augmenting β-catenin ubiquitination and inhibiting the CTHRC1/HIF-1α axis.

Keywords: Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, Lung fibroblasts, NEDD4L, β-catenin, Ubiquitination, Collagen triple helix repeat containing protein 1, Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α