Keratinocyte growth factor promotes alveolar epithelial cell DNA repair after H2O2 exposure

I. Wu Kristina, Nani Pollack, Ralph J. Panos, Peter H S Sporn, David W. Kamp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury and repair are important in the pathogenesis of oxidant-induced lung damage. Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) prevents lung damage and mortality in animals exposed to various forms of oxidant stress, but the protective mechanisms are not yet established. Because DNA strand break (DNA-SB) formation is one of the earliest cellular changes that occurs after cells are exposed to an oxidant stress, we determined whether KGF reduces H2O2-induced pulmonary toxicity by attenuating AEC DNA damage. KGF (10-100 ng/ml) decreased H2O2 (0.05-0.5 mM)-induced DNA-SB formation in cultured A549 and rat alveolar type II cells measured by an alkaline unwinding, ethidium bromide fluorometric technique. The protective effects of KGF were independent of alterations in catalase, glutathione (GSH), or the expression of bcl-2 and bax, two protooncogenes known to regulate oxidant-induced apoptosis. Actinomycin D and cycloheximide abrogated protective effects of KGF. Furthermore, protection by KGF was completely blocked by 1) genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor; 2) staurosporine and calphostin C, protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors; and 3) aphidicolin, butylphenyl dGTP, and 2',3'-dideoxythymidine 5'-triphosphate, inhibitors of DNA polymerase. We conclude that KGF attenuates H2O2-induced DNA-SB formation in cultured AECs by mechanisms that involve tyrosine kinase, PKC, and DNA polymerases. These data suggest that the ability of KGF to protect against oxidant-induced lung injury is partly due to enhanced AEC DNA repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L780-L787
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 19-4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lung injury
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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