Nucleotide-mediated airway clearance

Andreas Schmid, Lucy A. Clunes, Mathias Salathe, Pedro Verdugo, Paul Dietl, C. William Davis, Robert Tarran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A thin layer of airway surface liquid (ASL) lines the entire surface of the lung and is the first point of contact between the lung and the environment. Surfactants contained within this layer are secreted in the alveolar region and are required to maintain a low surface tension and to prevent alveolar collapse. Mucins are secreted into the ASL throughout the respiratory tract and serve to intercept inhaled pathogens, allergens and toxins. Their removal by mucociliary clearance (MCC) is facilitated by cilia beating and hydration of the ASL by active ion transport. Throughout the lung, secretion, ion transport and cilia beating are under purinergic control. Pulmonary epithelia release ATP into the ASL which acts in an autocrine fashion on P2Y2 (ATP) receptors. The enzymatic network describes in Chap. 2 then mounts a secondary wave of signaling by surface conversion of ATP into adenosine (ADO), which induces A2B (ADO) receptor-mediated responses. This chapter offers a comprehensive description of MCC and the extensive ramifications of the purinergic signaling network on pulmonary surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-138
Number of pages44
JournalSubcellular Biochemistry
StatePublished - 2015


  • A2B receptors
  • CFTR
  • Mucin secretion
  • Mucociliary clearance
  • P2Y2 receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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