Background: Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1) has been recognized as a marker of cancer stem cell in several malignancies. Thrombin is crucial in asthma severity as it can promote IL-8/CXCL8 production in lung epithelial cells, which is a potent chemoattractant for neutrophils. However, the pathologic role of DCLK1 in asthma and its involvement in thrombin-stimulated IL-8/CXCL8 expression remain unknown. Methods: IL-8/CXCL8, thrombin, and DCLK1 expression were observed in the lung tissues of severe asthma patients and ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthmatic mice model. A549 and BEAS-2B cells were either pretreated with inhibitors or small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) before being treated with thrombin. IL-8/CXCL8 expression and the molecules involved in signaling pathway were performed using ELISA, luciferase activity assay, Western blot, or ChIP assay. Results: IL-8/CXCL8, thrombin, and DCLK1 were overexpressed in the lung tissues of severe asthma patients and ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthmatic mice model. Our in vitro study found that DCLK siRNA or LRKK2-IN-1 (DCLK1 inhibitor) attenuated IL-8/CXCL8 release after thrombin induction in A549 and BEAS-2B cells. Thrombin activated DCLK1, RhoA, and YAP in a time-dependent manner, in which DCLK1 siRNA inhibited RhoA and YAP activation. YAP was dephosphorylated on the Ser127 site after thrombin stimulation, resulting in YAP translocation to the nucleus from the cytosol. DCLK1, RhoA and YAP activation following thrombin stimulation were inhibited by U0126 (ERK inhibitor). Moreover, DCLK1 and YAP siRNA inhibited κB-luciferase activity. Thrombin stimulated the recruitment of YAP and p65 to the NF-κB site of the IL-8/CXCL8 promoter and was inhibited by DCLK1 siRNA. Conclusions: Thrombin activates the DCLK1/RhoA signaling pathway, which promotes YAP activation and translocation to the nucleus from the cytosol, resulting in YAP/p65 formation, and binding to the NF-κB site, which enhances IL-8/CXCL8 expression. DCLK1 might be essential in thrombin-stimulated IL-8/CXCL8 expression in asthmatic lungs and indicates a potential therapeutic strategy for severe asthma treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Pages (from-to)95
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2022


  • DCLK1
  • Lung epithelial cells
  • RhoA
  • Severe asthma
  • YAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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