Background and Purpose Transglutaminase 2 (TGase 2) expression is increased in inflammatory diseases, and TGase 2 inhibitors block these increases. We examined whether the R2 peptide inhibited the expression of TGase 2 in a mouse model of inflammatory allergic asthma. Experimental Approach C57BL/6 mice were sensitized and challenged by ovalbumin (OVA) to induce asthma. OVA-specific serum IgE and leukotrienes (LTs) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Recruitment of inflammatory cells into bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid or lung tissues and goblet cell hyperplasia were assessed histologically. Airway hyperresponsiveness was determined in a barometric plethysmographic chamber. Expression of TGase 2, eosinophil major basic protein (EMBP), the adhesion molecule vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, Muc5ac and phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2) protein were determined by Western blot. Expression of mRNAs of Muc5ac, cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) were measured by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Key Results R2 peptide reduced OVA-specific IgE levels; the number of total inflammatory cells, macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils in BAL fluid and the number of goblet cells. Airway hyperresponsiveness, TGase 2 and EMBP levels, mRNA levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-13, RANTES, tumour necrosis factor-α, and MMP2/9, Muc5ac, NF-κB activity, PLA 2 activity and expressions, and LT levels in BAL cells and lung tissues were all reduced by R2 peptide. R2 peptide also restored expression of TIMP1/2. Conclusion and Implications R2 peptide reduced allergic responses by regulating NF-κB/TGase 2 activity in a mouse model of allergic asthma. This peptide may be useful in the treatment of allergic asthma.
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