Membrane-Permeable Calpain Inhibitors Promote Rat Oral Mucosal Epithelial Cell Proliferation by Inhibiting IL-1α Signaling.

PLoS ONE. 2015;10(7):e0134240 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0134240


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Makoto Kondo

Masayuki Yamato

Ryo Takagi

Hideo Namiki

Teruo Okano


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

To standardise regenerative medicine using cultured cells, the use of serum-free, chemically defined media will be necessary. We have reported that IL-1α inhibits the growth of epithelial cells in culture and that recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) significantly promotes epithelial cell growth in no feeder layer condition. In this study, we examined inhibitors of calpain, a cysteine proteinase that plays crucial roles in various cellular functions, including IL-1α maturation and secretion. The culturing of epithelial cells in serum-free media supplemented with a membrane-permeable calpain inhibitor significantly promoted growth while suppressing IL-1α maturation and secretion. By contrast, non-membrane-permeable calpain inhibitor treatment did not have these effects. Interestingly, immunoblotting analysis revealed that immature, untruncated, IL-1α expression was also downregulated by cell-permeable calpain inhibitor treatment, and the difference in IL-1α gene expression increased from day 2 to day 6. Although IL-1RA has been reported to promote epithelial cell growth, we detected no synergistic promotion of epithelial cell growth using a calpain inhibitor and IL-1RA. These findings indicate that calpain inhibitors promote epithelial cell proliferation by inhibiting IL-1α maturation at an early phase of epithelial cell culture and by suppressing the positive feedback-mediated amplification of IL-1α signalling.