Nano-based rescue of dysfunctional autophagy in chronic obstructive lung diseases

Neeraj Vij

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: ΔF508-CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) is a common CF-mutation that is known to induce oxidative-inflammatory stress through activation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which induces autophagy-impairment resulting in accumulation of CFTR in aggresome-bodies. Cysteamine, the reduced form of cystamine, is a FDA-approved drug that has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and mucolytic properties. This drug has been shown in a recent clinical trial to decrease lung inflammation and improve lung function in CF patients by potentially restoring autophagy and allowing CFTR to be trafficked to the cell membrane. Areas covered: The delivery of cysteamine to airway epithelia of chronic subjects prerequisite the need for a delivery system to allow rescue of dysfunctional autophagy. Expert opinion: We anticipate based on our ongoing studies that PLGA-PEG- or Dendrimer-mediated cysteamine delivery could allow sustained airway delivery over standard cysteamine tablets or delay release capsules that are currently used for systemic treatment. In addition, proposed nano-based autophagy induction strategy can also allow rescue of cigarette smoke (CS) induced acquired-CFTR dysfunction seen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-emphysema subjects. The CS induced acquired-CFTR dysfunction involves CFTR-accumulation in aggresome-bodies that can be rescued by an autophagy-inducing antioxidant drug, cysteamine. Moreover, chronic CS-exposure generates ROS that induces overall protein-misfolding and aggregation of ubiquitinated-proteins as aggresome-bodies via autophagy-impairment that can be also be resolved by treatment with autophagy-inducing antioxidant drug, cysteamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • autophagy
  • cigarette smoke
  • COPD
  • cystic fibrosis
  • emphysema
  • exacerbation
  • Nanoparticle
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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