Background and Purpose: Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS), a PKC substrate, facilitates mucus production and neutrophil migration. However, the effects of therapeutic procedures targeting the phosphorylation site of MARCKS on steroid-resistant asthma and the mechanisms underlying such effects have not yet been investigated. We designed a peptide that targets the MARCKS phosphorylation site (MPS peptide) and assessed its therapeutic potential against steroid-resistant asthma. Experimental Approach: Mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA), alum, and challenged with aerosolized OVA five times a week for 1 month. The mice were intratracheally administered MPS peptides three times a week, 1 hr before OVA challenge. Asthma symptoms and cell profiles in the bronchoalveolar lavage were assessed, and key proteins were analysed using Western blotting. Key Results: Phosphorylated (p)-MARCKS was highly expressed in inflammatory and bronchial epithelial cells in OVA-immunized mice. MPS peptide reduced eosinophils, neutrophils, mucus production, collagen deposition, and airway hyper-responsiveness. Dexamethasone (Dexa) did not alleviate steroid-resistant asthma symptoms. MPS peptide caused a decrease in p-MARCKS, nitrotyrosine and the expression of oxidative stress enzymes, NADPH oxidase dual oxidase 1 and inducible NOS, in lung tissues. Compared to Dexa, MPS peptides inhibited C5a production and attenuated IL-17A and KC production in the airway more effectively, thus suppressing asthma symptoms. Conclusions and Implications: Our findings indicate that targeting MARCKS phosphorylation through MPS treatment may inhibit neutrophilic inflammation and relieve asthma symptoms, thereby highlighting its potential as a therapeutic agent for steroid-resistant asthma.
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