Role of hyaluronan and hyaluronan-binding proteins in lung pathobiology

Frances E. Lennon, Patrick A. Singleton


Hyaluronan (HA) has diverse functions in normal lung homeostasis and pulmonary disease. HA constitutes the major glycosaminoglycan in lung tissue, with HA degradation products, produced by hyaluronidase enzymes and reactive oxygen species, being implicated in several lung diseases, including acute lung injury, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary hypertension. The differential activities of HA and its degradation products are due, in part, to regulation of multiple HA-binding proteins, including cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), HA-binding protein 2 (HABP2), and receptor for HA-mediated motility (RHAMM). Recent research indicates that exogenous administration of high-molecular-weight HA can serve as a novel therapeutic intervention for lung diseases, including lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury, sepsis/ventilator-induced lung injury, and airway hyperreactivity. This review focuses on the regulatory role of HA and HA-binding proteins in lung pathology and discusses the capacity of HA to augment and inhibit various lung diseases.

  • lung disease
  • therapy
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