RAGE-induced changes in the proteome of alveolar epithelial cells

Charles A. Downs, Nicholle M. Johnson, George Tsaprailis, My N. Helms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is a pattern recognition receptor and member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. RAGE is constitutively expressed in the distal lung where it co-localizes with the alveolar epithelium; RAGE expression is otherwise minimal or absent, except with disease. This suggests RAGE plays a role in lung physiology and pathology. We used proteomics to identify and characterize the effects of RAGE on rat alveolar epithelial (R3/1) cells. LC-MS/MS identified 177 differentially expressed proteins and the PANTHER Classification System further segregated proteins. Proteins involved in gene transcription (RNA and mRNA splicing, mRNA processing) and transport (protein, intracellular protein) were overrepresented; genes involved in a response to stimulus were underrepresented. Immune system processes and response to stimuli were downregulated with RAGE knockdown. Western blot confirmed RAGE-dependent changes in protein expression for NFκB and NLRP3 that was functionally supported by a reduction in IL-1β and phosphorylated p65. We also assessed RAGE's effect on redox regulation and report that RAGE knockdown attenuated oxidant production, decreased protein oxidation, and increased reduced thiol pools. Collectively the data suggest that RAGE is a critical regulator of epithelial cell response and has implications for our understanding of lung disease, specifically acute lung injury. Significance statement: In the present study, we undertook the first proteomic evaluation of RAGE-dependent processes in alveolar epithelial cells. The alveolar epithelium is a primary target during acute lung injury, and our data support a role for RAGE in gene transcription, protein transport, and response to stimuli. More over our data suggest that RAGE is a critical driver of redox regulation in the alveolar epithelium. The conclusions of the present work assist to unravel the molecular events that underlie the function of RAGE in alveolar epithelial cells and have implications for our understanding of RAGE signaling during lung injury. Our study was the first proteomic comparison showing the effects of RAGE activation from alveolar epithelial cells that constitutively express RAGE and these results can affect a wide field of lung biology, pulmonary therapeutics, and proteomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - Apr 15 2018


  • ARDS
  • Lung injury
  • Oxidative stress
  • Redox regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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