Loss of epithelial barriers characterized by reduction of E-cadherin is a hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We investigated the effects of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) infections, associated with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, on the regulation of E-cadherin in host cells. NTHi infection decreased E-cadherin mRNA and protein-levels in lung epithelial cells. E-cadherin reduction was mediated by activation of the fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and Slug. These data indicate that epithelial integrity and barrier function is disturbed by NTHi infection. Mainly, the destruction of cell–cell contacts is a prominent feature in NTHi infection.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)