Role of DCLK1/Hippo pathway in type II alveolar epithelial cells differentiation in acute respiratory distress syndrome

Xiao Yue Chen, Ching Kao, Syue Wei Peng, Jer Hwa Chang, Yueh Lun Lee, Vincent Laiman, Kian Fan Chung, Pankaj K. Bhavsar, Didik Setyo Heriyanto, Kai Jen Chuang, Hsiao Chi Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Delay in type II alveolar epithelial cell (AECII) regeneration has been linked to higher mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, the interaction between Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1) and the Hippo signaling pathway in ARDS-associated AECII differentiation remains unclear. Therefore, the objective of this study was to understand the role of the DCLK1/Hippo pathway in mediating AECII differentiation in ARDS. Materials and methods: AECII MLE-12 cells were exposed to 0, 0.1, or 1 μg/mL of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 6 and 12 h. In the mouse model, C57BL/6JNarl mice were intratracheally (i.t.) injected with 0 (control) or 5 mg/kg LPS and were euthanized for lung collection on days 3 and 7. Results: We found that LPS induced AECII markers of differentiation by reducing surfactant protein C (SPC) and p53 while increasing T1α (podoplanin) and E-cadherin at 12 h. Concurrently, nuclear YAP dynamic regulation and increased TAZ levels were observed in LPS-exposed AECII within 12 h. Inhibition of YAP consistently decreased cell levels of SPC, claudin 4 (CLDN-4), galectin 3 (LGALS-3), and p53 while increasing transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) at 6 h. Furthermore, DCLK1 expression was reduced in isolated human AECII of ARDS, consistent with the results in LPS-exposed AECII at 6 h and mouse SPC-positive (SPC+) cells after 3-day LPS exposure. We observed that downregulated DCLK1 increased p-YAP/YAP, while DCLK1 overexpression slightly reduced p-YAP/YAP, indicating an association between DCLK1 and Hippo-YAP pathway. Conclusions: We conclude that DCLK1-mediated Hippo signaling components of YAP/TAZ regulated markers of AECII-to-AECI differentiation in an LPS-induced ARDS model. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number159
JournalMolecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Epithelium
  • Infection
  • Lung injury
  • Pneumocytes
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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