Cell-Type–Specific Expression of Hyaluronan Synthases HAS2 and HAS3 Promotes Goblet Cell Hyperplasia in Allergic Airway Inflammation

Sang Nam Lee, Seol Ah Yoon, Ji Min Song, Hyung Chul Kim, Hyung Ju Cho, Augustine M.K. Choi, Joo Heon Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a multifactorial airway disease characterized by basal and goblet cell hyperplasia. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a major component of extracellular matrix and a critical contributor to tissue repair and remodeling after injury. We previously demonstrated that the intermediate progenitor cell (IPC) surface marker CD44v3 is upregulated in the basal and suprabasal layers of well-differentiated primary human nasal epithelial (HNE) cells after stimulation with the Th2 (T-helper cell type 2) cytokine IL-4, and an antibody blocking the CD44v3-HA interaction suppressed IL-4–induced goblet cell hyperplasia. We now show that the expression of HA and two HA synthases, HAS2 and HAS3, was upregulated in both the nasal surface epithelium of subjects with AR and IL-4–stimulated HNE cells. Inhibition of HA synthesis by 4-methylumbelliferone suppressed IL-4–induced goblet cell hyperplasia. Moreover, HAS2 and HAS3 were expressed in IPCs depending on the differentiation events, as follows: the rapid, transient upregulation of HAS2 induced basal IPC proliferation and basal-to-suprabasal transition, whereas the delayed upregulation of HAS3 promoted the transition of suprabasal IPCs to a goblet cell fate. 4-methylumbelliferone treatment in a house dust mite–induced murine AR model attenuated goblet cell metaplasia. Last, HA concentrations in nasal epithelial lining fluids from patients with AR positively correlated with the concentrations of mediators causing allergic inflammation. These data suggest that HA produced after the sequential upregulation of HAS2 and HAS3 contributes to goblet cell hyperplasia in allergic airway inflammation and modulates disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-374
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • allergic rhinitis
  • goblet cell hyperplasia
  • human nasal epithelial cells
  • hyaluronic acid
  • interleukin-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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