Proapoptotic Noxa is required for particulate matterinduced cell death and lung inflammation

Daniela Urich, Saul Soberanes, Zach Burgess, Sergio E. Chiarella, Andrew J. Ghio, Karen M. Ridge, David W. Kamp, Navdeep S. Chandel, Gökhan M. Mutlu, G. R Scott Budinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Elevated ambient levels of particulate matter air pollution are associated with excess daily mortality, largely attributable to increased rates of cardiovascular events. We have previously reported that particulate matter induces p53-dependent apoptosis in primary human alveolar epithelial cells. Activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway by p53 often requires the transcription of the proapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins Noxa, Puma, or both. In this study, we exposed alveolar epithelial cells in culture and mice to fine particulate matter <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) collected from the ambient air in Washington, D. C. Exposure to PM2.5 induced apoptosis in primary alveolar epithelial cells from wild-type but not Noxa -/- mice. Twenty-four hours after the intratracheal instillation of PM2.5, wild-type mice showed increased apoptosis in the lung and increased levels of mRNA encoding Noxa but not Puma. These changes were associated with increased permeability of the alveolar-capillary membrane and inflammation. All of these findings were absent or attenuated in Noxa -/- animals. We conclude that PM2.5-induced cell death requires Noxa both in vitro and in vivo and that Noxa-dependent cell death might contribute to PM-induced alveolar epithelial dysfunction and the resulting inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2055-2064
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Air pollution
  • Apoptosis
  • Bax
  • Oxidant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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