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Release of Notch activity coordinated by IL-1β signalling confers differentiation plasticity of airway progenitors via Fosl2 during alveolar regeneration

By Jinwook Choi, Yu Jin Jang, Catherine Dabrowska, Elhadi Iich, Kelly Evans, Helen Hall, Sam M Janes, Benjamin David Simons, Bon-Kyoung Koo, Jonghwan Kim, Joo-Hyeon Lee

Posted 19 Jun 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.19.449004

While the acquisition of cellular plasticity in adult stem cells is essential for rapid regeneration after tissue injury, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms governing this process. Our data reveal the coordination of airway progenitor differentiation plasticity by inflammatory signals during alveolar regeneration. Upon damage, IL-1{beta} signalling-dependent modulation of Jag1/2 expression in ciliated cells results in the inhibition of Notch signalling in secretory cells, which drives reprogramming and acquisition of differentiation plasticity. We identify a core role for the transcription factor Fosl2/Fra2 in secretory cell fate conversion to alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells retaining the distinct genetic and epigenetic signatures of secretory lineages. We furthermore reveal that KDR/FLK-1+ human secretory cells display a conserved capacity to generate AT2 cells via Notch inhibition. Our results demonstrate the functional role of a IL-1{beta}-Notch-Fosl2 axis for the fate decision of secretory cells during injury repair, proposing a new potential therapeutic target for human lung alveolar regeneration.

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