Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of major proportion and a critical target for future research. The development of new investigators with expertise in ths field will be an essential step in progress towards our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of COPD. This grant proposal requests support for the transition in my career from a clinical scientist with knowledge in molecular and cellular biology of lung disorders into an independent investigator with a focus in utilizing molecular biology techniques in protease-mediated lung disorders, such as COPD. For the past several decades, the development of COPD has been attributed to cigarette smoke induced-inflammation and elastase production, but recently collagenases have been implicated in the development of emphysema. I have found that membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), a collagenase, is expressed by alveolar macrophages and airway epithelial cells in a mouse model of cigarette smoke exposure induced-COPD and in the airway after naphthalene-induced acute airway epithelial injury, suggesting it plays a role in lung injury and repair. Based on these observations, I hypothesize that MT1-MMP is involved in the pathogenesis of COPD. I will examine alveolar wall destruction, airway remodeling, macrophage migration and inflammation in the presence and absence of MT1-MMP to determine the role and consequences of MT1-MMP production that occurs during cigarette smoke exposure. The work proposed in this application will be performed at Washington University in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Senior in conjunction with an Advisory Committee composed of experts in the fields of transgenic mouse technologies, epithelial cell biology and extracellular matrix. This is an environment that has proven successful in the development of physician scientists for research careers. In addition to uncovering a novel target in the treatment of COPD, this proposal will provide career development, so that I will attain skills to do COPD research independently.
|Atkinson, Jeffrey J; Lutey, Barbara A; Suzuki, Yoko et al. (2011) The role of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in cigarette smoke-induced emphysema. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 183:876-84|
|Deshmukh, Hitesh S; McLachlan, Anne; Atkinson, Jeffrey J et al. (2009) Matrix metalloproteinase-14 mediates a phenotypic shift in the airways to increase mucin production. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 180:834-45|