Defining features of chronic airway diseases include abnormal and persistent inflammatory processes, impaired airway epithelial integrity and function, and increased susceptibility to recurrent respiratory infections. Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) are lipid kinases, which contribute to multiple physiological and pathological processes within the airway, with abnormal PI3K signalling contributing to the pathogenesis of several respiratory diseases. Consequently, the potential benefit of targeting PI3K isoforms has received considerable attention, being viewed as a viable therapeutic option in inflammatory and infectious lung disorders. The class I PI3K isoform, PI3Kδ (Phosphoinositide 3-kinases δ) is of particular interest given its multiple roles in modulating innate and adaptive immune cell functions, airway inflammation and corticosteroid sensitivity. In this mini-review, we explore the role of PI3Kδ in airway inflammation and infection, focusing on oxidative stress, ER stress, histone deacetylase 2 and neutrophil function. We also describe the importance of PI3Kδ in adaptive immune cell function, as highlighted by the recently described Activated PI3K Delta Syndrome, and draw attention to some of the potential clinical applications and benefits of targeting this molecule.

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