Expression, activity and localization of lysosomal sulfatases in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death world-wide. Recently, we showed that COPD is associated with gene polymorphisms in SUMF1, a master regulator of sulfatases. Sulfatases are involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and activated by SUMF1, but their role in the lung is poorly described. We aimed to examine how sulfatases are affected in the airways of patients with COPD compared to ever smokers and never smokers. We observed that mRNA expression of the sulfatases GALNS, GNS and IDS was increased, while protein expression of many sulfatases was decreased in COPD fibroblasts. Several sulfatases, including GALNS, IDS, and SGSH, showed increased activity in COPD fibroblasts. Examination of different sulfatases by immunofluorescence showed that IDS, ARSB, GNS and SGSH in fibroblasts were localized to sites other than their reported destination. Using a master panel from different organs, RNA expression of all sulfatases could be observed in lung tissue. Additionally, immunohistochemistry on lung biopsies indicated differing expression of sulfatases in COPD patients. In conclusion, mRNA, protein expression, sulfatase activity levels, and localization of sulfatases are altered in lung fibroblasts and lung tissue from COPD patients and may be mechanistically important in COPD pathogenesis. This could contribute to the understanding of the disease mechanism in COPD and in the long run, to lead to more individualized therapies.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
Article number1991
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 13
Publication categoryResearch