Transcription Elongation Factor P-TEFb Is Involved in IL-17F Signaling in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

Masayuki Nakajima, Mio Kawaguchi, Masashi Matsuyama, Kyoko Ota, Junichi Fujita, Satoshi Matsukura, Shau Ku Huang, Yuko Morishima, Yukio Ishii, Hiroaki Satoh, Tohru Sakamoto, Nobuyuki Hizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: IL-17F is involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, including asthma and COPD. However, the effects of steroids on the function of IL-17F signaling mechanisms are largely unknown. One of the transcription elongation factors, positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) composed of cyclin T1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9), is known as a novel checkpoint regulator of gene expression via bromodomain-containing protein 4 (Brd4). Methods: Human airway smooth muscle cells were stimulated with IL-17F and the expression of IL-8 was evaluated by real-time PCR and ELISA. Next, the phosphorylation of CDK9 was determined by Western blotting. The CDK9 inhibitor and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting Brd4, cyclin T1, and CDK9 were used to identify the effect on IL-17F-induced IL-8 expression. Finally, the effect of steroids and its signaling were evaluated. Results: IL-17F markedly induced the transcription of the IL-8 gene and the expression of the protein. Pretreatment of CDK9 inhibitor and transfection of siRNAs targeting CDK9 markedly abrogated IL-17F-induced IL-8 production. Transfection of siRNAs targeting Brd4 and cyclin T1 diminished IL-17F-induced phosphorylation of CDK9 and IL-8 production. Moreover, budesonide decreased CDK9 phosphorylation and markedly inhibited IL-17F-induced IL-8 production. Conclusions: This is the first report that P-TEFb is involved in IL-17F-induced IL-8 expression and that steroids diminish it via the inhibition of CDK9 phosphorylation. IL-17F and P-TEFb might be novel therapeutic targets for airway inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 12 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway smooth muscle cells
  • Bromodomain-containing protein 4
  • Interleukin-17F
  • Interleukin-8
  • Positive transcription elongation factor b

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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