Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an irreversible and progressive fibrotic lung disease. Advanced IPF patients often demonstrate pulmonary hypertension, which severely impairs patients’ quality of life. The critical physiological roles of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway have been well characterized in vasodilation and the corresponding therapies and pathway agonists have shown clinical benefits in treating hypertension. In recent years, many preclinical studies have demonstrated anti-fibrotic efficacy of sGC-cGMP activation in various experimental fibrosis models but the molecular basis of the efficacy in these models are not well understood. Also, sGC pathway agonism has demonstrated encouraging clinical benefits in advanced IPF patients (NCT00517933). Here, we have revealed the novel phosphorylation events downstream of sGC activation in human lung fibroblasts using phosphoproteomics. sGCact A, a potent and selective sGC activator, significantly attenuated more than 2,000 phosphorylation sites. About 20% of phosphorylation events, attenuated by transforming growth factor ß (TGFß), a master regulator of fibrosis, were further dysregulated in the sGCact A co-treated lung fibroblasts. The overall magnitude and diversity of the sGCact A phosphoproteome was extensive. Further investigation would be required to understand how these newly identified changes facilitate human pulmonary fibrosis.
Phosphoproteome; Soluble guanylate cyclase activator; Transforming growth factor 1; Fibrosis