LPA (lysophosphatidic acid), a potent bioactive phospholipid, elicits diverse cellular responses through activation of the G-protein-coupled receptors LPA1–LPA4. LPA-mediated signalling is partially regulated by LPPs (lipid phosphate phosphatases; LPP-1, -2 and -3) that belong to the phosphatase superfamily. This study addresses the role of LPPs in regulating LPA-mediated cell signalling and IL-8 (interleukin-8) secretion in HBEpCs (human bronchial epithelial cells). Reverse transcription–PCR and Western blotting revealed the presence and expression of LPP-1–3 in HBEpCs. Exogenous [3H]oleoyl LPA was hydrolysed to [3H]-mono-oleoylglycerol. Infection of HBEpCs with an adenoviral construct of human LPP-1 for 48 h enhanced the dephosphorylation of exogenous LPA by 2–3-fold compared with vector controls. Furthermore, overexpression of LPP-1 partially attenuated LPA-induced increases in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, phosphorylation of IκB (inhibitory κB) and translocation of NF-κB (nuclear factor-κB) to the nucleus, and almost completely prevented IL-8 secretion. Infection of cells with an adenoviral construct of the mouse LPP-1 (R217K) mutant partially attenuated LPA-induced IL-8 secretion without altering LPA-induced changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration, phosphorylation of IκB, NF-κB activation or IL-8 gene expression. Our results identify LPP-1 as a key regulator of LPA signalling and IL-8 secretion in HBEpCs. Thus LPPs could represent potential targets in regulating leucocyte infiltration and airway inflammation.

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