Hog barn dust slows airway epithelial cell migration in vitro through a PKCα-dependent mechanism

Rebecca E. Slager, Diane S. Allen-Gipson, Alexi Sammut, Art Heires, Jane DeVasure, Susanna Von Essen, Debra J. Romberger, Todd A. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Agricultural work and other occupational exposures are responsible for ∼15% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD involves airway remodeling in response to chronic lung inflammatory events and altered airway repair mechanisms. However, the effect of agricultural dust exposure on signaling pathways that regulate airway injury and repair has not been well characterized. A key step in this process is migration of airway cells to restore epithelial integrity. We have previously shown that agents that activate the critical regulatory enzyme protein kinase C (PKC) slow cell migration during wound repair. Based on this observation and direct kinase measurements that demonstrate that dust extract from hog confinement barns (HDE) specifically activates the PKC isoforms PKCα and PKCε, we hypothesized that HDE would slow wound closure time in airway epithelial cells. We utilized the human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B and transfected BEAS-2B cell lines that express dominant negative (DN) forms of PKC isoforms to demonstrate that HDE slows wound closure in BEAS-2B and PKCε DN cell lines. However, in PKCα DN cells, wound closure following HDE treatment is not significantly different than mediatreated cells. These results suggest that the PKCα isoform is an important regulator of cell migration in response to agricultural dust exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1469-L1474
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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