Inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 reverses alcohol-induced ciliary dysfunction

Michael E. Price, Jacqueline A. Pavlik, Joseph H. Sisson, Todd A. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Airway mucociliary clearance is a first-line defense of the lung against inhaled particles and debris. Among individuals with alcohol use disorders, there is an increase in lung diseases. We previously identified that prolonged alcohol exposure impairs mucociliary clearance, known as alcohol-induced ciliary dysfunction (AICD). Cilia-localized enzymes, known as the ciliary metabolon, are key to the pathogenesis of AICD. In AICD, cyclic nucleotide-dependent ciliary kinases, which modulate phosphorylation to regulate cilia beat, are desensitized. We hypothesized that alcohol activates cilia-associated protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity, driving phosphorylation changes of cilia motility regulatory proteins. To test this hypothesis we identified the effects of prolonged alcohol exposure on phosphatase activity, cilia beat, and kinase responsiveness and cilia-associated phosphorylation targets when stimulated by β-agonist or cAMP. Prolonged alcohol activated PP1 and blocked cAMP-dependent cilia beat and protein kinase A (PKA) responsiveness and phosphorylation of a 29-kDa substrate of PKA. Importantly, prolonged alcohol-induced phosphatase activation was inhibited by the PP1 specific inhibitor, inhibitor-2 (I-2), restoring cAMP-stimulated cilia beat and PKA responsiveness and phosphorylation of the 29-kDa substrate. The I-2 inhibitory effect persisted in tissue, cell, and isolated cilia-organelle models, highlighting the association of ciliary metabolon-localized enzymes to AICD. Prolonged alcohol exposure drives ciliary metabolon-localized PP1 activation. PP1 activation modifies phosphorylation of a 29-kDa protein related to PKA activity. These data reinforce our previous findings that alcohol is acting at the level of the ciliary metabolon to cause ciliary dysfunction and identifies PP1 as a therapeutic target to prevent or reverse AICD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L577-L585
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015


  • Cilia
  • Cilia beat frequency
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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