A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease susceptibility gene, FAM13A, regulates protein stability of β-catenin

Zhiqiang Jiang, Taotao Lao, Weiliang Qiu, Francesca Polverino, Kushagra Gupta, Feng Guo, John D. Mancini, Zun Zar Chi Naing, Michael H. Cho, Peter J. Castaldi, Yang Sun, Jane Yu, Maria E. Laucho-Contreras, Lester Kobzik, Benjamin A. Raby, Augustine M.K. Choi, Mark A. Perrella, Caroline A. Owen, Edwin K. Silverman, Xiaobo Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Rationale: A genetic locus within the FAM13A gene has been consistently associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)ingenome-wideassociationstudies.However,the mechanisms by which FAM13A contributes to COPD susceptibility are unknown. Objectives: To determine the biologic function of FAM13A in human COPD and murine COPD models and discover the molecular mechanism by which FAM13A influences COPD susceptibility. Methods: Fam13anullmice(Fam13a-/-)weregeneratedandexposed to cigarette smoke. The lung inflammatory response and airspace size were assessed in Fam13a-/- and Fam13a+/+ littermate control mice. Cellular localization of FAM13A protein and mRNA levels of FAM13A in COPD lungs were assessed using immunofluorescence, Western blotting, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry identified cellular proteins that interact with FAM13A to reveal insights on FAM13A's function. Measurements and Main Results: In murine and human lungs, FAM13A is expressed in airway and alveolar type II epithelial cells and macrophages. Fam13a null mice (Fam13a-/-) were resistant to chronic cigarette smoke-induced emphysema compared with Fam13a-/- mice. In vitro, FAM13A interacts with protein phosphatase 2A and recruits protein phosphatase 2A with glycogen synthase kinase 3b and β-catenin, inducing β-catenin degradation. Fam13a-/- mice were also resistant to elastase-induced emphysema, and this resistance was reversed by coadministration of a β-catenin inhibitor, suggesting that FAM13A could increase the susceptibility of mice to emphysema development by inhibiting β-catenin signaling. Moreover, human COPD lungs had decreased protein levels of β-catenin and increased protein levels of FAM13A. Conclusions: We show that FAM13A may influence COPD susceptibility by promoting β-catenin degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell proliferation
  • Emphysema
  • FAM13A
  • Protein stability
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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