Degradation of group V secretory phospholipase A2 in lung endothelium is mediated by autophagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Chiba University


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103954
JournalMicrovascular Research
StatusPublished - May 2020


Group V secretory phospholipase A2 (gVPLA2) is a potent inflammatory mediator in mammalian tissues that hydrolyzes phospholipids and initiates eicosanoid biosynthesis. Previous work has demonstrated that multiple inflammatory stimuli induce its expression and secretion in several cell types, including the lung endothelium. However, little is known about the mechanism(s) by which gVPLA2 inflammatory signaling is subsequently downregulated. Therefore, in this study we characterized potential clearance mechanisms for gVPLA2 in lung endothelial cells (EC). We observed that exogenous gVPLA2 is taken up rapidly by nutrient-starved human pulmonary artery EC (HPAEC) in vitro, and its cellular expression subsequently is reduced over several hours. In parallel experiments performed in pulmonary vascular EC isolated from mice genetically deficient in gVPLA2, the degradation of exogenously applied gVPLA2 occurs in a qualitatively similar fashion. This degradation is significantly attenuated in EC treated with ammonium chloride or chloroquine, which are lysosomal inhibitors that block autophagic flux. In contrast, the proteasomal inhibitor MG132 fails to prevent the clearance of gVPLA2. Both immunofluorescence microscopy and proximity ligation assay demonstrate the co-localization of LC3 and gVPLA2 during this process, indicating the association of gVPLA2 with autophagosomes. Nutrient starvation, a known inducer of autophagy, is sufficient to stimulate gVPLA2 degradation. These results suggest that a lysosome-mediated autophagy pathway contributes to gVPLA2 clearance from lung EC. These novel observations advance our understanding of the mechanism by which this key inflammatory enzyme is downregulated in the lung vasculature.

    Research areas

  • Autophagy, Endothelium, Group V secretory phospholipase A, Lysosomes, Protein degradation

Citation formats


Meliton, L. N., Zhu, X., Brown, M., Epshtein, Y., Kawasaki, T., Letsiou, E., & Dudek, S. M. (2020). Degradation of group V secretory phospholipase A2 in lung endothelium is mediated by autophagy. Microvascular Research, 129, [103954].


Meliton, LN, Zhu, X, Brown, M, Epshtein, Y, Kawasaki, T, Letsiou, E & Dudek, SM 2020, 'Degradation of group V secretory phospholipase A2 in lung endothelium is mediated by autophagy', Microvascular Research, vol. 129, 103954.