Transcriptional response of bronchial epithelial cells to Pseudomonas aeruginosa: identification of early mediators of host defense

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Physiol Genomics, Volume 21, Number 3, p.324-336 (2005)

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Bronchi; Cell Culture Techniques; Cells; Cultured; cytology; Cytoskeleton; Databases; Nucleic Acid; Dna; DNA Primers; drug effects; Epithelial Cells; Epithelium; Gene Expression; Gene Expression Regulation; Genes; genetics; Human; Humans; Inflammation; Inte


The airway epithelium responds to microbial exposure by altering expression of a variety of genes to increase innate host defense. We aimed to delineate the early transcriptional response in human primary bronchial epithelial cells exposed for 6 h to a mixture of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha or heat-inactivated Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Because molecular mechanisms of epithelial innate host defense are not fully understood, the open-ended expression-profiling technique SAGE was applied to construct gene expression profiles covering 30,000 genes: 292 genes were found to be differentially expressed. Expression of seven genes was confirmed by real-time qPCR. Among differentially expressed genes, four classes or families were identified: keratins, proteinase inhibitors, S100 calcium-binding proteins, and IL-1 family members. Marked transcriptional changes were observed for keratins that form a key component of the cytoskeleton in epithelial cells. Expression of antimicrobial proteinase inhibitors SLPI and elafin was elevated after microbial or cytokine exposure. Interestingly, expression of numerous S100 family members was observed, and eight members, including S100A8 and S100A9, were among the most differentially expressed genes. Differential expression was also observed for the IL-1 family members IL-1beta, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and IL-1F9, a newly discovered IL-1 family member. Clustering of differentially expressed genes into biological processes revealed that the early inflammatory response in airway epithelial cells to IL-1beta-TNF-alpha and P. aeruginosa is characterized by expression of genes involved in epithelial barrier formation and host defense