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Mechanosensitive modulation of receptor-mediated crossbridge activation and cytoskeletal organization in airway smooth muscle

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Recent findings indicate that mechanical strain (deformation) exerted by the extracellular matrix modulates activation of airway smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, cytoskeletal organization in airway smooth muscle appears to be dynamic, and subject to modulation by receptor activation and mechanical strain. Mechanosensitive modulation of crossbridge activation and cytoskeletal organization may represent intracellular feedback mechanisms that limit the shortening of airway smooth muscle during bronchoconstriction. Recent findings suggest that receptor-mediated signal transduction is the primary target of mechanosensitive modulation. Mechanical strain appears to regulate the number of functional G-proteins and/or phospholipase C enzymes in the cell membrane possibly by membrane trafficking and/or protein translocation. Dense plaques, membrane structures analogous to focal adhesions, appear to be the primary target of cytoskeletal regulation. Mechanical strain and receptor-binding appear to regulate the assembly and phosphorylation of dense plaque proteins in airway smooth muscle cells. Understanding these mechanisms may reveal new pharmacological targets for controlling airway resistance in airway diseases.

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Correspondence to Chi-Ming Hai.

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Hai, C. Mechanosensitive modulation of receptor-mediated crossbridge activation and cytoskeletal organization in airway smooth muscle. Arch Pharm Res 23, 535 (2000).

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Key words

  • Asthma
  • Bronchodilation
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Mechanotransduction