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Special Issue "Dual Specificity Phosphatases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Biological Function"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rafael Pulido
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Guest Editor
Biocruces Health Research Institute, Spain
Prof. Dr. Roland Lang
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Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Higiene, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) constitute a heterogeneous group of protein tyrosine phosphatases with the capability to dephosphorylate Ser/Thr and Tyr residues from proteins as well as from other non-proteinaceous substrates, including signaling lipids. DUSPs include, among others, the MAP kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (MKPs) and the small-size atypical DUSPs. MKPs are enzymes specialized in regulating the activity and subcellular location of MAPKs, whereas the functions of small-size atypical DUSPs seem to be more diversified. DUSPs have emerged as key players in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, stress responses and apoptosis. DUSPs regulate essential physiological processes, including immunity, neurobiology and metabolic homeostasis, and have been implied in tumorigenesis, pathological inflammation and metabolic disorders. Accordingly, alterations in the expression or function of MKPs and small-size atypical DUSPs have important consequences in human disease, making these enzymes potential biological markers and therapeutic targets.

This Special Issue covers recent advances in the molecular mechanisms and biological functions of MKPs and small-size atypical DUSPs, and their relevance in human disease. We encourage authors to submit original papers and reviews on this expanding and exciting research area.

Dr. Rafael Pulido
Prof. Dr. Roland Lang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Dual Specificity Phosphatases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Biological Function
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184372 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) constitute a heterogeneous group of enzymes, relevant in human disease, which belong to the class I Cys-based group of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) gene superfamily [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Whole Genome Microarray Analysis of DUSP4-Deletion Reveals A Novel Role for MAP Kinase Phosphatase-2 (MKP-2) in Macrophage Gene Expression and Function
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143434 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Background: Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-2 (MKP-2) is a type 1 nuclear dual specific phosphatase (DUSP-4). It plays an important role in macrophage inflammatory responses through the negative regulation of Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling. However, information on the effect of MKP-2 on [...] Read more.
Background: Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-2 (MKP-2) is a type 1 nuclear dual specific phosphatase (DUSP-4). It plays an important role in macrophage inflammatory responses through the negative regulation of Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling. However, information on the effect of MKP-2 on other aspect of macrophage function is limited. Methods: We investigated the impact of MKP-2 in the regulation of several genes that are involved in function while using comparative whole genome microarray analysis in macrophages from MKP-2 wild type (wt) and knock out (ko) mice. Results: Our data showed that the lack of MKP-2 caused a significant down-regulation of colony-stimulating factor-2 (Csf2) and monocyte to macrophage-associated differentiation (Mmd) genes, suggesting a role of MKP-2 in macrophage development. When treated with macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), Mmd and Csf2 mRNA levels increased but significantly reduced in ko cells in comparison to wt counterparts. This effect of MKP-2 deletion on macrophage function was also observed by cell counting and DNA measurements. On the signalling level, M-CSF stimulation induced extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) phosphorylation, which was significantly enhanced in the absence of MKP-2. Pharmacological inhibition of ERK reduced both Csf2 and Mmd genes in both wild type and ko cultures, which suggested that enhanced ERK activation in ko cultures may not explain effects on gene expression. Interestingly other functional markers were also shown to be reduced in ko macrophages in comparison to wt mice; the expression of CD115, which is a receptor for M-CSF, and CD34, a stem/progenitor cell marker, suggesting global regulation of gene expression by MKP-2. Conclusions: Transcriptome profiling reveals that MKP-2 regulates macrophage development showing candidate targets from monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation and macrophage proliferation. However, it is unclear whether effects upon ERK signalling are able to explain the effects of DUSP-4 deletion on macrophage function. Full article
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Article
Nuclear-Biased DUSP6 Expression is Associated with Cancer Spreading Including Brain Metastasis in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 3080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20123080 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
DUSP6 is a dual-specificity phosphatase (DUSP) involved in breast cancer progression, recurrence, and metastasis. DUSP6 is predominantly cytoplasmic in HER2+ primary breast cancer cells, but the expression and subcellular localization of DUSPs, especially DUSP6, in HER2-positive circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is unknown. Here [...] Read more.
DUSP6 is a dual-specificity phosphatase (DUSP) involved in breast cancer progression, recurrence, and metastasis. DUSP6 is predominantly cytoplasmic in HER2+ primary breast cancer cells, but the expression and subcellular localization of DUSPs, especially DUSP6, in HER2-positive circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is unknown. Here we used the DEPArray system to identify and isolate CTCs from metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients and performed single-cell NanoString analysis to quantify cancer pathway gene expression in HER2-positive and HER2-negative CTC populations. All TNBC patients contained HER2-positive CTCs. HER2-positive CTCs were associated with increased ERK1/ERK2 expression, which are direct DUSP6 targets. DUSP6 protein expression was predominantly nuclear in breast CTCs and the brain metastases but not pleura or lung metastases of TNBC patients. Therefore, nuclear DUSP6 may play a role in the association with cancer spreading in TNBC patients, including brain metastasis. Full article
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Article
Dynamics of Dual Specificity Phosphatases and Their Interplay with Protein Kinases in Immune Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092086 - 27 Apr 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2336
Abstract
Dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) have a well-known role as regulators of the immune response through the modulation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Yet the precise interplay between the various members of the DUSP family with protein kinases is not well understood. Recent multi-omics [...] Read more.
Dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) have a well-known role as regulators of the immune response through the modulation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Yet the precise interplay between the various members of the DUSP family with protein kinases is not well understood. Recent multi-omics studies characterizing the transcriptomes and proteomes of immune cells have provided snapshots of molecular mechanisms underlying innate immune response in unprecedented detail. In this study, we focus on deciphering the interplay between members of the DUSP family with protein kinases in immune cells using publicly available omics datasets. Our analysis resulted in the identification of potential DUSP-mediated hub proteins including MAPK7, MAPK8, AURKA, and IGF1R. Furthermore, we analyzed the association of DUSP expression with TLR4 signaling and identified VEGF, FGFR, and SCF-KIT pathway modules to be regulated by the activation of TLR4 signaling. Finally, we identified several important kinases including LRRK2, MAPK8, and cyclin-dependent kinases as potential DUSP-mediated hubs in TLR4 signaling. The findings from this study have the potential to aid in the understanding of DUSP signaling in the context of innate immunity. Further, this will promote the development of therapeutic modalities for disorders with aberrant DUSP signaling. Full article
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Article
Pseudophosphatase MK-STYX Alters Histone Deacetylase 6 Cytoplasmic Localization, Decreases Its Phosphorylation, and Increases Detyrosination of Tubulin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061455 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
The catalytically inactive mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatase, MK-STYX (MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) phosphoserine/threonine/tyrosine-binding protein) interacts with the stress granule nucleator G3BP-1 (Ras-GAP (GTPase-activating protein) SH3 (Src homology 3) domain-binding protein-1), and decreases stress granule (stalled mRNA) formation. Histone deacetylase isoform 6 (HDAC6) [...] Read more.
The catalytically inactive mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatase, MK-STYX (MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) phosphoserine/threonine/tyrosine-binding protein) interacts with the stress granule nucleator G3BP-1 (Ras-GAP (GTPase-activating protein) SH3 (Src homology 3) domain-binding protein-1), and decreases stress granule (stalled mRNA) formation. Histone deacetylase isoform 6 (HDAC6) also binds G3BP-1 and serves as a major component of stress granules. The discovery that MK-STYX and HDAC6 both interact with G3BP-1 led us to investigate the effects of MK-STYX on HDAC6 dynamics. In control HEK/293 cells, HDAC6 was cytosolic, as expected, and formed aggregates under conditions of stress. In contrast, in cells overexpressing MK-STYX, HDAC6 was both nuclear and cytosolic and the number of stress-induced aggregates significantly decreased. Immunoblots showed that MK-STYX decreases HDAC6 serine phosphorylation, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and lysine acetylation. HDAC6 is known to regulate microtubule dynamics to form aggregates. MK-STYX did not affect the organization of microtubules, but did affect their post-translational modification. Tubulin acetylation was increased in the presence of MK-STYX. In addition, the detyrosination of tubulin was significantly increased in the presence of MK-STYX. These findings show that MK-STYX decreases the number of HDAC6-containing aggregates and alters their localization, sustains microtubule acetylation, and increases detyrosination of microtubules, implicating MK-STYX as a signaling molecule in HDAC6 activity. Full article
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Article
Dysregulation of Lipid Metabolism in Mkp-1 Deficient Mice during Gram-Negative Sepsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 3904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19123904 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase (Mkp)-1 exerts its anti-inflammatory activities during Gram-negative sepsis by deactivating p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). We have previously shown that Mkp-1+/+ mice, but not Mkp-1−/− mice, exhibit hypertriglyceridemia during severe sepsis. However, the regulation of hepatic [...] Read more.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase (Mkp)-1 exerts its anti-inflammatory activities during Gram-negative sepsis by deactivating p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). We have previously shown that Mkp-1+/+ mice, but not Mkp-1−/− mice, exhibit hypertriglyceridemia during severe sepsis. However, the regulation of hepatic lipid stores and the underlying mechanism of lipid dysregulation during sepsis remains an enigma. To understand the molecular mechanism underlying the sepsis-associated metabolic changes and the role of Mkp-1 in the process, we infected Mkp-1+/+ and Mkp-1−/− mice with Escherichia coli i.v., and assessed the effects of Mkp-1 deficiency on tissue lipid contents. We also examined the global gene expression profile in the livers via RNA-seq. We found that in the absence of E. coli infection, Mkp-1 deficiency decreased liver triglyceride levels. Upon E. coli infection, Mkp-1+/+ mice, but not Mkp-1−/− mice, developed hepatocyte ballooning and increased lipid deposition in the livers. E. coli infection caused profound changes in the gene expression profile of a large number of proteins that regulate lipid metabolism in wildtype mice, while these changes were substantially disrupted in Mkp-1−/− mice. Interestingly, in Mkp-1+/+ mice E. coli infection resulted in downregulation of genes that facilitate fatty acid synthesis but upregulation of Cd36 and Dgat2, whose protein products mediate fatty acid uptake and triglyceride synthesis, respectively. Taken together, our studies indicate that sepsis leads to a substantial change in triglyceride metabolic gene expression programs and Mkp-1 plays an important role in this process. Full article
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Review

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Review
Dual-Specificity Phosphatases in Immunity and Infection: An Update
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112710 - 02 Jun 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
Kinase activation and phosphorylation cascades are key to initiate immune cell activation in response to recognition of antigen and sensing of microbial danger. However, for balanced and controlled immune responses, the intensity and duration of phospho-signaling has to be regulated. The dual-specificity phosphatase [...] Read more.
Kinase activation and phosphorylation cascades are key to initiate immune cell activation in response to recognition of antigen and sensing of microbial danger. However, for balanced and controlled immune responses, the intensity and duration of phospho-signaling has to be regulated. The dual-specificity phosphatase (DUSP) gene family has many members that are differentially expressed in resting and activated immune cells. Here, we review the progress made in the field of DUSP gene function in regulation of the immune system during the last decade. Studies in knockout mice have confirmed the essential functions of several DUSP-MAPK phosphatases (DUSP-MKP) in controlling inflammatory and anti-microbial immune responses and support the concept that individual DUSP-MKP shape and determine the outcome of innate immune responses due to context-dependent expression and selective inhibition of different mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). In addition to the canonical DUSP-MKP, several small-size atypical DUSP proteins regulate immune cells and are therefore also reviewed here. Unexpected and complex findings in DUSP knockout mice pose new questions regarding cell type-specific and redundant functions. Another emerging question concerns the interaction of DUSP-MKP with non-MAPK binding partners and substrate proteins. Finally, the pharmacological targeting of DUSPs is desirable to modulate immune and inflammatory responses. Full article
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Review
Regulation of Dual-Specificity Phosphatase (DUSP) Ubiquitination and Protein Stability
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112668 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3561
Abstract
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are key regulators of signal transduction and cell responses. Abnormalities in MAPKs are associated with multiple diseases. Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) dephosphorylate many key signaling molecules, including MAPKs, leading to the regulation of duration, magnitude, or spatiotemporal profiles of MAPK [...] Read more.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are key regulators of signal transduction and cell responses. Abnormalities in MAPKs are associated with multiple diseases. Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) dephosphorylate many key signaling molecules, including MAPKs, leading to the regulation of duration, magnitude, or spatiotemporal profiles of MAPK activities. Hence, DUSPs need to be properly controlled. Protein post-translational modifications, such as ubiquitination, phosphorylation, methylation, and acetylation, play important roles in the regulation of protein stability and activity. Ubiquitination is critical for controlling protein degradation, activation, and interaction. For DUSPs, ubiquitination induces degradation of eight DUSPs, namely, DUSP1, DUSP4, DUSP5, DUSP6, DUSP7, DUSP8, DUSP9, and DUSP16. In addition, protein stability of DUSP2 and DUSP10 is enhanced by phosphorylation. Methylation-induced ubiquitination of DUSP14 stimulates its phosphatase activity. In this review, we summarize the knowledge of the regulation of DUSP stability and ubiquitination through post-translational modifications. Full article
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Review
Dual-Specificity Phosphatase Regulation in Neurons and Glial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1999; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081999 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Dual-specificity protein phosphatases comprise a protein phosphatase subfamily with selectivity towards mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, also named MKPs, or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases. As powerful regulators of the intensity and duration of MAPK signaling, a relevant role is envisioned for dual-specificity protein [...] Read more.
Dual-specificity protein phosphatases comprise a protein phosphatase subfamily with selectivity towards mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, also named MKPs, or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases. As powerful regulators of the intensity and duration of MAPK signaling, a relevant role is envisioned for dual-specificity protein phosphatases (DUSPs) in the regulation of biological processes in the nervous system, such as differentiation, synaptic plasticity, and survival. Important neural mediators include nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that contribute to DUSP transcriptional induction and post-translational mechanisms of DUSP protein stabilization to maintain neuronal survival and differentiation. Potent DUSP gene inducers also include cannabinoids, which preserve DUSP activity in inflammatory conditions. Additionally, nucleotides activating P2X7 and P2Y13 nucleotide receptors behave as novel players in the regulation of DUSP function. They increase cell survival in stressful conditions, regulating DUSP protein turnover and inducing DUSP gene expression. In general terms, in the context of neural cells exposed to damaging conditions, the recovery of DUSP activity is neuroprotective and counteracts pro-apoptotic over-activation of p38 and JNK. In addition, remarkable changes in DUSP function take place during the onset of neuropathologies. The restoration of proper DUSP levels and recovery of MAPK homeostasis underlie the therapeutic effect, indicating that DUSPs can be relevant targets for brain diseases. Full article
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Review
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases (MKPs) in Fungal Signaling: Conservation, Function, and Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071709 - 05 Apr 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are key mediators of signaling in fungi, participating in the response to diverse stresses and in developmental processes. Since the precise regulation of MAPKs is fundamental for cell physiology, fungi bear dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) that act as MAP [...] Read more.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are key mediators of signaling in fungi, participating in the response to diverse stresses and in developmental processes. Since the precise regulation of MAPKs is fundamental for cell physiology, fungi bear dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) that act as MAP kinase phosphatases (MKPs). Whereas fungal MKPs share characteristic domains of this phosphatase subfamily, they also have specific interaction motifs and particular activation mechanisms, which, for example, allow some yeast MKPs, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sdp1, to couple oxidative stress with substrate recognition. Model yeasts show that MKPs play a key role in the modulation of MAPK signaling flow. Mutants affected in S. cerevisiae Msg5 or in Schizosaccharomyces pombe Pmp1 display MAPK hyperactivation and specific phenotypes. MKPs from virulent fungi, such as Candida albicans Cpp1, Fusarium graminearum Msg5, and Pyricularia oryzae Pmp1, are relevant for pathogenicity. Apart from transcriptional regulation, MKPs can be post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA-binding proteins such as Rnc1, which stabilizes the S. pombe PMP1 mRNA. P. oryzae Pmp1 activity and S. cerevisiae Msg5 stability are regulated by phosphorylation and ubiquitination, respectively. Therefore, fungi offer a platform to gain insight into the regulatory mechanisms that control MKPs. Full article
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Review
The Dual-Specificity Phosphatase 10 (DUSP10): Its Role in Cancer, Inflammation, and Immunity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071626 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Cancer is one of the most diagnosed diseases in developed countries. Inflammation is a common response to different stress situations including cancer and infection. In those processes, the family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) has an important role regulating cytokine secretion, proliferation, survival, [...] Read more.
Cancer is one of the most diagnosed diseases in developed countries. Inflammation is a common response to different stress situations including cancer and infection. In those processes, the family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) has an important role regulating cytokine secretion, proliferation, survival, and apoptosis, among others. MAPKs regulate a large number of extracellular signals upon a variety of physiological as well as pathological conditions. MAPKs activation is tightly regulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation events. In this regard, the dual-specificity phosphatase 10 (DUSP10) has been described as a MAPK phosphatase that negatively regulates p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in several cellular types and tissues. Several studies have proposed that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) can be also modulated by DUSP10. This suggests a complex role of DUSP10 on MAPKs regulation and, in consequence, its impact in a wide variety of responses involved in both cancer and inflammation. Here, we review DUSP10 function in cancerous and immune cells and studies in both mouse models and patients that establish a clear role of DUSP10 in different processes such as inflammation, immunity, and cancer. Full article
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Review
Dual-Specificity Phosphatases in Neuroblastoma Cell Growth and Differentiation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(5), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20051170 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are important regulators of neuronal cell growth and differentiation by targeting proteins essential to neuronal survival in signaling pathways, among which the MAP kinases (MAPKs) stand out. DUSPs include the MAPK phosphatases (MKPs), a family of enzymes that directly dephosphorylate [...] Read more.
Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are important regulators of neuronal cell growth and differentiation by targeting proteins essential to neuronal survival in signaling pathways, among which the MAP kinases (MAPKs) stand out. DUSPs include the MAPK phosphatases (MKPs), a family of enzymes that directly dephosphorylate MAPKs, as well as the small-size atypical DUSPs, a group of low molecular-weight enzymes which display more heterogeneous substrate specificity. Neuroblastoma (NB) is a malignancy intimately associated with the course of neuronal and neuroendocrine cell differentiation, and constitutes the source of more common extracranial solid pediatric tumors. Here, we review the current knowledge on the involvement of MKPs and small-size atypical DUSPs in NB cell growth and differentiation, and discuss the potential of DUSPs as predictive biomarkers and therapeutic targets in human NB. Full article
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Review
Emerging Regulatory Roles of Dual-Specificity Phosphatases in Inflammatory Airway Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030678 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Inflammatory airway disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a major health burden worldwide. These diseases cause large numbers of deaths each year due to airway obstruction, which is exacerbated by respiratory viral infection. The inflammatory response in the [...] Read more.
Inflammatory airway disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a major health burden worldwide. These diseases cause large numbers of deaths each year due to airway obstruction, which is exacerbated by respiratory viral infection. The inflammatory response in the airway is mediated in part through the MAPK pathways: p38, JNK and ERK. These pathways also have roles in interferon production, viral replication, mucus production, and T cell responses, all of which are important processes in inflammatory airway disease. Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are known to regulate the MAPKs, and roles for this family of proteins in the pathogenesis of airway disease are emerging. This review summarizes the function of DUSPs in regulation of cytokine expression, mucin production, and viral replication in the airway. The central role of DUSPs in T cell responses, including T cell activation, differentiation, and proliferation, will also be highlighted. In addition, the importance of this protein family in the lung, and the necessity of further investigation into their roles in airway disease, will be discussed. Full article
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