Eosinophilic inflammation is a cornerstone of chronic asthma that often culminates in subepithelial fibrosis with variable airway obstruction. Pulmonary eosinophils (Eos) are a predominant source of TGF-β1, which drives fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition. We investigated the regulation of TGF-β1 and show here that the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) Pin1 promoted the stability of TGF-β1 mRNA in human Eos. In addition, Pin1 regulated cytokine production by both in vitro and in vivo activated human Eos. We found that Pin1 interacted with both PKC-α and protein phosphatase 2A, which together control Pin1 isomerase activity. Pharmacologic blockade of Pin1 in a rat asthma model selectively reduced eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation, TGF-β1 and collagen expression, and airway remodeling. Furthermore, chronically challenged Pin1–/– mice showed reduced peribronchiolar collagen deposition compared with wild-type controls. These data suggest that pharmacologic suppression of Pin1 may be a novel therapeutic option to prevent airway fibrosis in individuals with chronic asthma.
Zhong-Jian Shen, Stephane Esnault, Louis A. Rosenthal, Renee J. Szakaly, Ronald L. Sorkness, Pamela R. Westmark, Matyas Sandor, James S. Malter