G proteins play essential roles in regulating fetal lung development, and any defects in their expression or function (eg, activation or posttranslational modification) can lead to lung developmental malformation. Geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) can modulate protein prenylation that is required for protein membrane-anchoring and activation. Here, we report that GGPPS regulates fetal lung branching morphogenesis possibly through controlling K-Ras prenylation during fetal lung development. GGPPS was continuously expressed in lung epithelium throughout whole fetal lung development. Specific deletion of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase 1 (Ggps1) in lung epithelium during fetal lung development resulted in neonatal respiratory distress syndrome-like disease. The knockout mice died at postnatal day 1 of respiratory failure, and the lungs showed compensatory pneumonectasis, pulmonary atelectasis, and hyaline membranes. Subsequently, we proved that lung malformations in Ggps1-deficient mice resulted from the failure of fetal lung branching morphogenesis. Further investigation revealed Ggps1 deletion blocked K-Ras geranylgeranylation and extracellular signal-related kinase 1 or 2/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, which in turn disturbed fibroblast growth factor 10 regulation on fetal lung branching morphogenesis. Collectively, our data suggest that GGPPS is essential for maintaining fetal lung branching morphogenesis, which is possibly through regulating K-Ras prenylation.
Jia, W. J., Jiang, S., Tang, Q. L., Shen, D., Xue, B., Ning, W., & Li, C. J. (2016). Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthase Modulates Fetal Lung Branching Morphogenesis Possibly through Controlling K-Ras Prenylation. American Journal of Pathology, 186(6), 1454–1465. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.01.021