Periostin, an extracellular matrix protein also known as osteoblast-specific factor 2, could be a biomarker for several chronic pulmonary diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, lung infections, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to a new study published in the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Previous studies have shown that periostin is involved in the regulation of the extracellular matrix protein and some cellular functions and its over-expression has been observed in several inflammatory and fibrotic disorders throughout the body.

Evidence has shown that periostin may play an important role in the progression of IPF, as well. A clinical trial for patients with IPF found that periostin levels could be a predictive biomarker for shortened overall survival and time to event.


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Another research group has also developed a kit to detect monomeric serum periostin to help diagnose IPF in patients. The monomeric serum periostin was found to be superior to oligomeric periostin and conventional IPF biomarkers such as KL-6, SP-D, and lactate dehydrogenase at predicting the short-term progression of IPF.

“As it turns out, periostin plays a key role as a fibrotic and growth factor. Hence, it is involved in the cellular mechanisms of abnormal alveolar repair and sub-epithelial fibrosis in bronchial asthma,” the authors said.

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The periostin gene (POSTN) has been shown to be upregulated in the thickened airway epithelium of patients with IPF. Another study found that mice without periostin were protected from the development of pulmonary fibrosis following injury with bleomycin. The protection was hypothesized to be from a lack of production of cytokines from the periostin-deficient fibrocytes and may also inhibit the recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages.

Other studies have shown that the fibrotic factor, transforming growth factor-beta, upregulates the POSTN gene and leads to an increase in type 1 collagen production and reduced airway distensibility. Interleukin-13 may also increase periostin expression.

Reference

Alzobaidi N, Rehman S, Naqvi M, Gulati K, Ray A. Periostin: a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in pulmonary diseases. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2022;25:137-148. doi:10.18433/jpps32306