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    Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, which can be caused by exposure to an allergen, spasmogen, or be induced by exercise. Despite its prevalence, the exact mechanisms by which the airway becomes hyperresponsive in asthma are not fully understood. There is evidence that myosin light-chain kinase is overexpressed, with a concomitant downregulation of myosin light-chain phosphatase in the airway smooth muscle, leading to sustained contraction. Additionally, the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum ATPase may be affected by inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and TNF-α, which are all associated with asthmatic airway inflammation. IL-13 and TNF-α seem to promote sodium/calcium exchanger 1 overexpression as well. Anyhow, the exact mechanisms beyond these dysregulations need to be clarified. Of note, multiple studies show an association between asthma and the ORMLD3 gene, opening new perspectives to future potential gene therapies. Currently, several treatments are available for asthma, although many of them have systemic side effects, or are not effective in patients with severe asthma. Furthering our knowledge on the molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms of asthma plays a pivotal role for the development of new and more targeted treatments for patients who cannot totally benefit from the current therapies.


    Ryan Okonski, Yun-Min Zheng, Annarita Di Mise, Yong-Xiao Wang. Reciprocal Correlations of Inflammatory and Calcium Signaling in Asthma Pathogenesis. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2021;1303:319-331

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    PMID: 33788200

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