Asthma is a frequent respiratory condition whose pathophysiology relies on altered interactions between bronchial epithelium, smooth muscle cells (SMC) and immune responses. Those leads to classical hallmarks of asthma: airway hyper-responsiveness, bronchial remodelling and chronic inflammation. Airway smooth muscle biology and pathophysiological implication in asthma are now better understood. Precise deciphering of intracellular signalling pathways regulating smooth muscle contraction highlighted the critical roles played by small GTPases of Rho superfamily. Beyond contractile considerations, active involvement of airway smooth muscle in bronchial remodelling mechanisms is now established. Not only cytokines and growth factors, such as fibroblats growth factor or transforming growth factor-β, but also extracellular matrix composition have been demonstrated as potent phenotype modifiers for airway SMC. Although basic science knowledge has grown significantly, little of it has translated into improvement in asthma clinical practice. Evaluation of airway smooth muscle function is still limited to its contractile activity. Moreover, it relies on tools, such as spirometry, that give only an overall assessment and not a specific one. Interesting technics such as forced oscillometry or specific imagery (CT and MRI) give new perspectives to evaluate other aspects of airway muscle such as bronchial remodelling. Finally, except for the refinement of conventional bronchodilators, no new drug therapy directly targeting airway smooth muscle proved its efficacy. Bronchial thermoplasty is an innovative and efficient therapeutic strategy but is only restricted to a small proportion of severe asthmatic patients. New diagnostic and therapeutic strategies specifically oriented toward airway smooth muscle are needed to improve global asthma care.