Hdac6 activates erk in airway and pulmonary vascular remodeling of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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10 Scopus citations


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multisystemic respiratory disease that is associated with progressive airway and pulmonary vascular remodeling due to the increased proliferation of bronchial smooth muscles cells (BSMCs) and pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and the overproduction of extracellular matrix (e.g., collagen). Cigarette smoke (CS) and several mediators, such as PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) and IL-6, play critical roles in COPD pathogenesis. HDAC6 has been shown to be implicated in vascular remodeling. However, the role of airway HDAC6 signaling in pulmonary vascular remodeling in COPD and the underlying mechanisms remain undetermined. Here, we show that HDAC6 expression is upregulated in the lungs of patients with COPD and a COPD animal model. We also found that CS extract (CSE), PDGF, and IL-6 increase the protein levels and activation of HDAC6 in BSMCs and PASMCs. Furthermore, CSE and these stimulants induced deacetylation and phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and increased collagen synthesis and BSMC and PASMC proliferation, which were outcomes that were prevented by HDAC6 inhibition. Inhibition of ERK1/2 also diminished the CSE-, PDGF-, and IL-6-caused elevation in collagen levels and cell proliferation. Pharmacologic HDAC6 inhibition with tubastatin A prevented the CS-stimulated increases in the thickness of the bronchial and pulmonary arterial wall, airway resistance, emphysema, and right ventricular systolic pressure and right ventricular hypertrophy in a rat model of COPD. These data demonstrate that the upregulated HDAC6 governs the collagen synthesis and BSMC and PASMC proliferation that lead to airway and vascular remodeling in COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COPD
  • Cigarette smoke
  • HDAC6
  • IL-6
  • PDGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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