Inhibition of TGF-α gene expression by vitamin A in airway epithelium

Lisa Miller, Yu Hua Zhao, Reen Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The autocrine/paracrine growth mechanism has been implicated in the regulation of bronchial epithelial cell proliferation. By inhibiting the expression of the transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) gene product, vitamin A is able to suppress the proliferation of tracheobronchial epithelial cells in culture. Similar repressions in TGF-α mRNA levels by retinol were observed in airway explant cultures and in a cell line immortalized from normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Both the nuclear run-on transcriptional assay and the transfection study with the chimeric construct of the TGF-α promoter and chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene partly suggest a transcriptional down-regulation mechanism of TGF-α gene expression by the retinol treatment; however, this inhibition at the transcriptional level cannot account for the total inhibition at the mRNA level. These results suggest that a downregulation of the expression of the TGF-α gene at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels by vitamin A may precede the essential event associated with the homeostasis of normal conducting airway epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1435
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996


  • autocrine/paracrine
  • gene expression
  • growth factor
  • retinoids
  • transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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