Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author’s final published version in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 23, Issue 19, October 2022, Article number 11868.

The published version is available at Copyright © Hernandez-Lara et al.


Airway remodeling in asthma involves the hyperproliferation of airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells. However, the molecular signals that regulate ASM growth are not completely understood. Gq-coupled G protein-coupled receptor and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling regulate ASM cell proliferation via activation of phospholipase C, generation of inositol triphosphate (IP3) and diacylglycerol (DAG). Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) converts DAG into phosphatidic acid (PA) and terminates DAG signaling while promoting PA-mediated signaling and function. Herein, we hypothesized that PA is a pro-mitogenic second messenger in ASM, and DGK inhibition reduces the conversion of DAG into PA resulting in inhibition of ASM cell proliferation. We assessed the effect of pharmacological inhibition of DGK on pro-mitogenic signaling and proliferation in primary human ASM cells. Pretreatment with DGK inhibitor I (DGKI) significantly inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-stimulated ASM cell proliferation. Anti-mitogenic effect of DGKI was associated with decreased mTOR signaling and expression of cyclin D1. Exogenous PA promoted pro-mitogenic signaling and rescued DGKI-induced attenuation of ASM cell proliferation. Finally, house dust mite (HDM) challenge in wild type mice promoted airway remodeling features, which were attenuated in DGKζ-/- mice. We propose that DGK serves as a potential drug target for mitigating airway remodeling in asthma.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID