Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of PI3K/mTOR signalling in the pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Author: Woodcock, H. V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 7382
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterised by the uncontrolled deposition of type 1 collagen rich extracellular matrix by myofibroblasts, leading to distortion of tissue architecture, impairment of gas exchange, and respiratory failure. The profibrotic cytokine TGF-β is central to this process. Evidence suggests that PI3K/mTOR signalling downstream of TGF-β may be central to the key cellular processes that drive fibrotic pathology. GSK2126458 is a combined PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, which has been shown to prevent functional responses to TGF-β in human lung fibroblasts and is currently being evaluated in a proof-of-mechanism clinical trial in IPF. The present study identifies that delayed and sustained induction of mTOR signalling mediates the late peak in pro-fibrotic gene expression in response to TGF-β. Accordingly, active-site mTOR inhibition has pronounced inhibitory effects on collagen biosynthesis and myofibroblast differentiation of primary human lung fibroblasts (pHLFs). The induction of mTOR signalling in response to TGF-β is dependent on the canonical Smad pathway. In addition, TGF-β induced mTOR signalling is demonstrated to be independent of PI3K/Akt activity, suggesting that mTOR is not activated through the prototypical linear PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling axis downstream of TGF-β. mTOR is the catalytic subunit of two functionally distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, which have differential sensitivities to rapamycin. The present study identifies that rapamycin-resistant mTOR signalling is critical for TGF-β induced profibrotic gene expression in pHLFs. Furthermore, knockout of critical mTOR complex subunits in mouse embryonic fibroblasts demonstrates that mTORC2 is an important regulator of pro-fibrotic gene expression. Taken together, this work identifies mTOR as a critical pro-fibrotic signalling node downstream of TGF-β. Selective mTOR inhibition is a promising therapeutic strategy for fibrotic disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available