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1.  The effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on matrix metalloproteinase and prostaglandin E2 production by cells of the rheumatoid lesion 
Arthritis Research  1999;1(1):63-70.
The biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], acts through vitamin D receptors, which were found in rheumatoid tissues in the present study. IL-1β-activated rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocytes were shown to respond differently to exposure to 1α,25(OH)2D3, which has different effects on the regulatory pathways of specific matrix metalloproteinases and prostaglandin E2.
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], the biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3, acts through an intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR) and has several immunostimulatory effects. Animal studies have shown that production of some matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may be upregulated in rat chondrocytes by administration of 1α,25(OH)2D3; and cell cultures have suggested that 1α,25(OH)2D3 may affect chondrocytic function. Discoordinate regulation by vitamin D of MMP-1 and MMP-9 in human mononuclear phagocytes has also been reported. These data suggest that vitamin D may regulate MMP expression in tissues where VDRs are expressed. Production of 1α,25(OH)2D3 within synovial fluids of arthritic joints has been shown and VDRs have been found in rheumatoid synovial tissues and at sites of cartilage erosion. The physiological function of 1α,25(OH)2D3 at these sites remains obscure. MMPs play a major role in cartilage breakdown in the rheumatoid joint and are produced locally by several cell types under strict control by regulatory factors. As 1α,25(OH)2D3 modulates the production of specific MMPs and is produced within the rheumatoid joint, the present study investigates its effects on MMP and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in two cell types known to express chondrolytic enzymes.
To investigate VDR expression in rheumatoid tissues and to examine the effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on cultured rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts (RSFs) and human articular chondrocytes (HACs) with respect to MMP and PGE2 production.
Rheumatoid synovial tissues were obtained from arthroplasty procedures on patients with late-stage rheumatoid arthritis; normal articular cartilage was obtained from lower limb amputations. Samples were embedded in paraffin, and examined for presence of VDRs by immunolocalisation using a biotinylated antibody and alkaline-phosphatase-conjugated avidin-biotin complex system. Cultured synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes were treated with either 1α,25(OH)2D3, or interleukin (IL)-1β or both. Conditioned medium was assayed for MMP and PGE2 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the results were normalised relative to control values.
The rheumatoid synovial tissue specimens (n = 18) immunostained for VDRs showed positive staining but at variable distributions and in no observable pattern. VDR-positive cells were also observed in association with some cartilage-pannus junctions (the rheumatoid lesion). MMP production by RSFs in monolayer culture was not affected by treatment with 1α,25(OH)2D3 alone, but when added simultaneously with IL-1β the stimulation by IL-1β was reduced from expected levels by up to 50%. In contrast, 1α,25(OH)2D3 had a slight stimulatory effect on basal production of MMPs 1 and 3 by monolayer cultures of HACs, but stimulation of MMP-1 by IL-1β was not affected by the simultaneous addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3 whilst MMP-3 production was enhanced (Table 1). The production of PGE2 by RSFs was unaffected by 1α,25(OH)2D3 addition, but when added concomitantly with IL-1β the expected IL-1 β-stimulated increase was reduced to almost basal levels. In contrast, IL-1β stimulation of PGE2 in HACs was not affected by the simultaneous addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3 (Table 2). Pretreatment of RSFs with 1α,25(OH)2D3 for 1 h made no significant difference to IL-1β-induced stimulation of PGE2, but incubation for 16 h suppressed the expected increase in PGE2 to control values. This effect was also noted when 1α,25(OH)2D3 was removed after the 16h and the IL-1 added alone. Thus it appears that 1α,25(OH)2D3 does not interfere with the IL-1β receptor, but reduces the capacity of RSFs to elaborate PGE2 after IL-1β induction.
Cells within the rheumatoid lesion which expressed VDR were fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes and endothelial cells. These cells are thought to be involved in the degradative processes associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), thus providing evidence of a functional role of 1α,25(OH)2D3 in RA. MMPs may play important roles in the chondrolytic processes of the rheumatoid lesion and are known to be produced by both fibroblasts and chondrocytes. The 1α,25(OH)2D3 had little effect on basal MMP production by RSFs, although more pronounced differences were noted when IL-1β-stimulated cells were treated with 1α,25(OH)2D3, with the RSF and HAC showing quite disparate responses. These opposite effects may be relevant to the processes of joint destruction, especially cartilage loss, as the ability of 1α,25(OH)2D3 to potentiate MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression by 'activated' chondrocytes might facilitate intrinsic cartilage chondrolysis in vivo. By contrast, the MMP-suppressive effects observed for 1α,25(OH)2D3 treatment of 'activated' synovial fibroblasts might reduce extrinsic chondrolysis and also matrix degradation within the synovial tissue. Prostaglandins have a role in the immune response and inflammatory processes associated with RA. The 1α,25(OH)2D3 had little effect on basal PGE2 production by RSF, but the enhanced PGE2 production observed following IL-1β stimulation of these cells was markedly suppressed by the concomitant addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3. As with MMP production, there are disparate effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on IL-1β stimulated PGE2 production by the two cell types; 1α,25(OH)2D3 added concomitantly with IL-1β had no effect on PGE2 production by HACs. In summary, the presence of VDRs in the rheumatoid lesion demonstrates that 1α,25(OH)2D3 may have a functional role in the joint disease process. 1α,25(OH)2D3 does not appear to directly affect MMP or PGE2 production but does modulate cytokine-induced production.
Comparative effects of 1 α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1 α,25D3) on interleukin (IL)-1-stimulated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 production by rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocytes in vivo
Data given are normalized relative to control values and are expressed ± SEM for three cultures of each cell type.
Comparative effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25D3) on Interleukin (IL)-1-stimulated prostaglandin E2 production by rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocyte in vivo
Data given are normalized relative to control values and are expressed ± SEM for three cultures of each cell type.
PMCID: PMC17774  PMID: 11056661
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3; matrix metalloproteinase; prostaglandin E2; rheumatoid arthritis
2.  Integrin α3β1 potentiates TGFβ-mediated induction of MMP-9 in immortalized keratinocytes 
TGFβ signaling pathways regulate a number of keratinocyte functions during epidermal carcinogenesis and wound healing, including proliferation, survival, and migration. TGFβ can induce expression of the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-9, which has critical roles in promoting extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis during tumorigenesis and tissue repair. Integrin α3β1 is a cell adhesion receptor for laminin-332/laminin-5 with important roles in the survival and motility of epidermal keratinocytes. We previously reported that α3β1 induces the expression of MMP-9 in immortalized keratinocytes. In the current study, we show that endogenous TGFβ is required for maximal MMP-9 expression, and that α3β1 is required for full induction of MMP-9 protein and mRNA in response to TGFβ. This regulation was not observed in non-immortalized, primary keratinocytes, indicating that coordinate regulation of MMP-9 by α3β1 and TGFβ is a property of immortalized cells. α3β1 did not regulate endogenous TGFβ gene expression, TGFβ bioavailability, or TGFβ-Smad signaling. However, the combined inductive effects of TGFβ and α3β1 on MMP-9 were suppressed by a Src family kinase (SFK) inhibitor, indicating involvement of an SFK pathway. These findings may reflect a novel role for α3β1 in augmenting TGFβ-mediated induction of MMP-9 in immortalized or transformed keratinocytes during skin carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2709505  PMID: 17762853
TGFβ; α3β1 integrin; MMP-9; keratinocyte
3.  CTGF Is Increased in Basal Deposits and Regulates Matrix Production through the ERK (p42/p44mapk) MAPK and the p38 MAPK Signaling Pathways 
Matrix expansion is an early change in age-related maculopathy. The aim of this study was to determine whether connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) regulates the production of extracellular matrix components by retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells.
ARPE-19 cells were treated with CTGF and analyzed for fibronectin, laminin, and MMP-2 by RT-qPCR, Western blot analysis, or zymography. Cells were also pretreated with an MEK-1/2 inhibitor (PD98059) or a p38 inhibitor (SB203580) and an anti-CTGF antibody to analyze the signaling contributing to fibronectin, laminin, and MMP-2 production. Human maculas were analyzed for mRNA using laser capture microdissected RPE cells and by immunohistochemistry for the topographic distribution of CTGF.
CTGF induced fibronectin mRNA (P = 0.006) and protein (P = 0.006), and laminin mRNA (P = 0.006) and protein (P = 0.02) by ARPE-19 cells. CTGF also induced MMP-2 mRNA (P = 0.002) and protein secretion (P = 0.04). Using zymography, CTGF increased the latent and active forms of MMP-2 compared to controls (P = 0.02). An anti-CTGF antibody inhibited fibronectin, laminin, and MMP-2 after CTGF stimulation. CTGF increased the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2. Fibronectin and MMP-2 mRNA and protein were suppressed by a MEK-1/2 inhibitor, but not with a p38 inhibitor. Laminin expression was suppressed by both inhibitors. RT-qPCR analysis showed that macular RPE cells from human donors express CTGF. Immunohistochemistry of human maculas showed strong labeling of CTGF in Bruch membrane, including basal deposits and drusen.
CTGF is increased in basal deposits and drusen of AMD specimens, and it induces matrix protein production in ARPE-19 cells through the ERK (p42/p44mapk) and p38mapk signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC2729056  PMID: 19011018
4.  Modulatory effect of interleukin-1α on expression of structural matrix proteins, MMPs and TIMPs in human cardiac myofibroblasts: Role of p38 MAP kinase 
Matrix Biology  2010;29(7-6):613-620.
The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) elicits catabolic effects on the myocardial extracellular matrix (ECM) early after myocardial infarction but there is little understanding of its direct effects on cardiac myofibroblasts (CMF), or the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). We used a focused RT-PCR microarray to investigate the effects of IL-1α on expression of 41 ECM genes in CMF cultured from different patients, and explored regulation by p38 MAPK.
IL-1α (10 ng/ml, 6 h) had minimal effect on mRNA expression of structural ECM proteins, including collagens, laminins, fibronectin and vitronectin. However, it induced marked increases in expression of specific ECM proteases, including matrix metalloproteinases MMP-1 (collagenase-1), MMP-3 (stromelysin-1), MMP-9 (gelatinase-B) and MMP-10 (stromelysin-2). Conversely, IL-1α reduced mRNA and protein expression of ADAMTS1, a metalloproteinase that suppresses neovascularization. IL-1α increased expression of TIMP-1 slightly, but not TIMP-2. Data for MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, MMP-10 and ADAMTS1 were confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), another important myocardial proinflammatory cytokine, did not alter expression of these metalloproteinases. IL-1α strongly activated the p38 MAPK pathway in human CMF. Pharmacological inhibitors of p38-α/β (SB203580) or p38-α/β/γ/δ (BIRB-0796) reduced MMP-3 and ADAMTS1 mRNA expression, but neither inhibitor affected MMP-9 levels. MMP-1 and MMP-10 expression were inhibited by BIRB-0796 but not SB203580, suggesting roles for p38-γ/δ.
In summary, IL-1α induces a distinct pattern of ECM protein and protease expression in human CMF, in part regulated by distinct p38 MAPK subtypes, affirming the key role of IL-1α and CMF in post-infarction cardiac remodeling.
PMCID: PMC3004031  PMID: 20619343
ADAMTS, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs; CMF, cardiac myofibroblast; DMSO, dimethylsulfoxide; ECM, extracellular matrix; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSP27, heat shock protein-27; IL-1, intereukin-1; MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MI, myocardial infarction; MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; TIMP, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases; TNF, tumor necrosis factor; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor; Interleukin-1; Matrix metalloproteinase; Cardiac fibroblast; Extracellular matrix; p38 MAP kinase; Microarray
5.  Active synovial matrix metalloproteinase-2 is associated with radiographic erosions in patients with early synovitis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):145-153.
Serum and synovial tissue expression of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 and their molecular regulators, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 was examined in 28 patients with inflammatory early synovitis and 4 healthy volunteers and correlated with the presence of erosions in the patients. Immunohistological staining of MMP-2, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 localized to corresponding areas in the synovial lining layer and was almost absent in normal synovium. Patients with radiographic erosions had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than patients with no erosions, suggesting that activated MMP-2 levels in synovial tissue may be a marker for a more aggressive synovial lesion.
In cancer the gelatinases [matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9] have been shown to be associated with tissue invasion and metastatic disease. In patients with inflammatory arthritis the gelatinases are expressed in the synovial membrane, and have been implicated in synovial tissue invasion into adjacent cartilage and bone. It is hypothesized that an imbalance between the activators and inhibitors of the gelatinases results in higher levels of activity, enhanced local proteolysis, and bone erosion.
To determine whether the expression and activity levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their regulators MMP-14 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP), are associated with early erosion formation in patients with synovitis of recent onset.
Patients and method:
A subset of 66 patients was selected from a larger early synovitis cohort on the basis of tissue availability for the study of synovial tissue and serum gelatinase expression. Patients with peripheral joint synovitis of less than 1 years' duration were evaluated clinically and serologically on four visits over a period of 12 months. At the initial visit, patients underwent a synovial tissue biopsy of one swollen joint, and patients had radiographic evaluation of hands and feet initially and at 1year. Serum MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were determined, and synovial tissue was examined by immunohistology for the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their molecular regulators. Gelatinolytic activity for MMP-2 and MMP-9 was quantified using a sensitive, tissue-based gel zymography technique. Four healthy individuals underwent closed synovial biopsy and their synovial tissues were similarly analyzed.
Of the 66 patients studied, 45 fulfilled American College of Rheumatology criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with 32 (71%) being rheumatoid factor positive. Of the 21 non-RA patients, seven had a spondylarthropathy and 14 had undifferentiated arthritis. Radiographically, 12 of the RA patients had erosions at multiple sites by 1 year, whereas none of the non-RA patients had developed erosive disease of this extent. In the tissue, latent MMP-2 was widely expressed in the synovial lining layer and in areas of stromal proliferation in the sublining layer and stroma, whereas MMP-9 was expressed more sparsely and focally. MMP-14, TIMP-2, and MMP-2 were all detected in similar areas of the lining layer on consecutive histologic sections. Tissue expression of MMP-14, the activator for pro-MMP-2, was significantly higher in RA than in non-RA patients (8.4 ± 5 versus 3.7 ± 4 cells/high-power field; P = 0.009). In contrast, the expression of TIMP-2, an inhibitor of MMP-2, was lower in the RA than in the non-RA samples (25 ± 12 versus 39 ± 9 cells/high-power field; P = 0.01). Synovial tissue expressions of MMP-2, MMP-14, and TIMP-2 were virtually undetectable in normal synovial tissue samples. The synovial tissue samples of patients with erosive disease had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than did those of patients without erosions (Fig. 1). Tissue expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, however, did not correlate with the serum levels of these enzymes.
With the exception of serum MMP-2, which was not elevated over normal, serum levels of all of the other MMPs and TIMPs were elevated to varying degrees, and were not predictive of erosive disease. Interestingly, MMP-1 and C-reactive protein, both of which were associated with the presence of erosions, were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.42; P < 0.001).
MMP-2 and MMP-9 are thought to play an important role in the evolution of joint erosions in patients with an inflammatory arthritis. Most studies have concentrated on the contribution of MMP-9 to the synovitis, because synovial fluid and serum MMP-9 levels are markedly increased in inflammatory arthropathies. Previously reported serum levels of MMP-9 have varied widely. In the present sample of patients with synovitis of recent onset, serum MMP-9 levels were elevated in only 21%. Moreover, these elevations were not specific for RA, the tissue expression of MMP-9 was focal, and the levels of MMP-9 activity were not well correlated with early erosions. Although serum MMP-2 levels were not of prognostic value, high synovial tissue levels of MMP-2 activity were significantly correlated with the presence of early erosions. This may reflect augmented activation of MMP-2 by the relatively high levels of MMP-14 and low levels of TIMP-2 seen in these tissues. We were able to localize the components of this trimolecular complex to the synovial lining layer in consecutive tissue sections, a finding that is consistent with their colocalization.
In conclusion, we have provided evidence that active MMP-2 complexes are detectable in the inflamed RA synovium and may be involved in the development of early bony erosions. These results suggest that strategies to inhibit the activation of MMP-2 may have the potential for retarding or preventing early erosions in patients with inflammatory arthritis.
PMCID: PMC17808  PMID: 11062605
early synovitis; erosion; metalloproteinase; matrix metalloproteinase-2; rheumatoid arthritis
6.  Relaxin Signals through a RXFP1-pERK-nNOS-NO-cGMP-Dependent Pathway to Up-Regulate Matrix Metalloproteinases: The Additional Involvement of iNOS 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42714.
The hormone, relaxin, inhibits aberrant myofibroblast differentiation and collagen deposition by disrupting the TGF-β1/Smad2 axis, via its cognate receptor, Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 (RXFP1), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation (pERK) and a neuronal nitric oxide (NO) synthase (nNOS)-NO-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent pathway. However, the signalling pathways involved in its additional ability to increase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression and activity remain unknown. This study investigated the extent to which the NO pathway was involved in human gene-2 (H2) relaxin's ability to positively regulate MMP-1 and its rodent orthologue, MMP-13, MMP-2 and MMP-9 (the main collagen-degrading MMPs) in TGF-β1-stimulated human dermal fibroblasts and primary renal myofibroblasts isolated from injured rats; by gelatin zymography (media) and Western blotting (cell layer). H2 relaxin (10–100 ng/ml) significantly increased MMP-1 (by ∼50%), MMP-2 (by ∼80%) and MMP-9 (by ∼80%) in TGF-β1-stimulated human dermal fibroblasts; and MMP-13 (by ∼90%), MMP-2 (by ∼130%) and MMP-9 (by ∼115%) in rat renal myofibroblasts (all p<0.01 vs untreated cells) over 72 hours. The relaxin-induced up-regulation of these MMPs, however, was significantly blocked by a non-selective NOS inhibitor (L-nitroarginine methyl ester (hydrochloride); L-NAME; 75–100 µM), and specific inhibitors to nNOS (N-propyl-L-arginine; NPLA; 0.2–2 µM), iNOS (1400W; 0.5–1 µM) and guanylyl cyclase (ODQ; 5 µM) (all p<0.05 vs H2 relaxin alone), but not eNOS (L-N-(1-iminoethyl)ornithine dihydrochloride; L-NIO; 0.5–5 µM). However, neither of these inhibitors affected basal MMP expression at the concentrations used. Furthermore, of the NOS isoforms expressed in renal myofibroblasts (nNOS and iNOS), H2 relaxin only stimulated nNOS expression, which in turn, was blocked by the ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059; 1 µM). These findings demonstrated that H2 relaxin signals through a RXFP1-pERK-nNOS-NO-cGMP-dependent pathway to mediate its anti-fibrotic actions, and additionally signals through iNOS to up-regulate MMPs; the latter being suppressed by TGF-β1 in myofibroblasts, but released upon H2 relaxin-induced inhibition of the TGF-β1/Smad2 axis.
PMCID: PMC3425563  PMID: 22936987
7.  Deletion of the Transforming Growth Factor β Receptor Type II Gene in Articular Chondrocytes Leads to a Progressive Osteoarthritis-like Phenotype in Mice 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(12):3107-3119.
While transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling plays a critical role in chondrocyte metabolism, the TGFβ signaling pathways and target genes involved in cartilage homeostasis and the development of osteoarthritis (OA) remain unclear. Using an in vitro cell culture method and an in vivo mouse genetic approach, we undertook this study to investigate TGFβ signaling in chondrocytes and to determine whether Mmp13 and Adamts5 are critical downstream target genes of TGFβ signaling.
TGFβ receptor type II (TGFβRII)–conditional knockout (KO) (TGFβRIICol2ER) mice were generated by breeding TGFβRIIflox/flox mice with Col2-CreER–transgenic mice. Histologic, histomorphometric, and gene expression analyses were performed. In vitro TGFβ signaling studies were performed using chondro-genic rat chondrosarcoma cells. To determine whether Mmp13 and Adamts5 are critical downstream target genes of TGFβ signaling, TGFβRII/matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13)– and TGFβRII/ADAMTS-5–double-KO mice were generated and analyzed.
Inhibition of TGFβ signaling (deletion of the Tgfbr2 gene in chondrocytes) resulted in up-regulation of Runx2, Mmp13, and Adamts5 expression in articular cartilage tissue and progressive OA development in TGFβRIICol2ER mice. Deletion of the Mmp13 or Adamts5 gene significantly ameliorated the OA-like phenotype induced by the loss of TGFβ signaling. Treatment of TGFβRIICol2ER mice with an MMP-13 inhibitor also slowed OA progression.
Mmp13 and Adamts5 are critical downstream target genes involved in the TGFβ signaling pathway during the development of OA.
PMCID: PMC3928444  PMID: 23982761
8.  Dexamethasone Inhibits Interleukin-1β-Induced Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Expression in Cochlear Cells 
To investigate the effect of interleukin (IL)-1β on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression in cochlea and regulation of IL-1β-mediated MMP-9 expression by dexamethasone and the molecular and signaling mechanisms involved.
House ear institute-organ of Corti 1 (HEI-OC1) cells were used and exposed to IL-1β with/without dexamethasone. Glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU486, was used to see the role of dexamethasone. PD98059 (an extracellular signal-regulated kinases [ERKs] inhibitor), SB203580 (a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases [MAPK] inhibitor), SP600125 (a c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK] inhibitor) were also used to see the role of MAPKs signaling pathway(s) in IL-1β-induced MMP-9 expression in HEI-OC1 cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and gelatin zymography were used to measure mRNA expression level of MMP-9 and activity of MMP-9, respectively.
Treatment with IL-1β-induced the expression of MMP-9 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. IL-1β (1 ng/mL)-induced MMP-9 expression was inhibited by dexamethasone. Interestingly, p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, significantly inhibited IL-1β-induced MMP-9 mRNA and MMP-9 activity. However, inhibition of JNKs and ERKs had no effect on the IL-1β-induced MMP-9 expression.
These results suggest that the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β strongly induces MMP-9 expression via activation of p38 MAPK signaling pathway in HEI-OC1 cells and the induction was inhibited by dexamethasone.
PMCID: PMC4135152  PMID: 25177432
Interleukin-1beta; Matrix metalloproteinase 9; p38 Mitogen-activated protein kinases; Cochlea
9.  Induction of multiple matrix metalloproteinases in human dermal and synovial fibroblasts by Staphylococcus aureus: implications in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis and other soft tissue infections 
Infections of body tissue by Staphylococcus aureus are quickly followed by degradation of connective tissue. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis. Various types of collagen form the major structural matrix of different connective tissues of the body. These different collagens are degraded by specific matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) produced by fibroblasts, other connective tissue cells, and inflammatory cells that are induced by interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). To determine the host's contribution in the joint destruction of S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis, we analyzed the MMP expression profile in human dermal and synovial fibroblasts upon exposure to culture supernatant and whole cell lysates of S. aureus. Human dermal and synovial fibroblasts treated with cell lysate and filtered culture supernatants had significantly enhanced expression of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-10, and MMP-11 compared with the untreated controls (p < 0.05). In the S. aureus culture supernatant, the MMP induction activity was identified to be within the molecular-weight range of 30 to >50 kDa. The MMP expression profile was similar in fibroblasts exposed to a combination of IL-1/TNF. mRNA levels of several genes of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathway were significantly elevated in fibroblasts treated with S. aureus cell lysate and culture supernatant. Also, tyrosine phosphorylation was significantly higher in fibroblasts treated with S. aureus components. Tyrosine phosphorylation and MAPK gene expression patterns were similar in fibroblasts treated with a combination of IL-1/TNF and S. aureus. Mutants lacking staphylococcal accessory regulator (Sar) and accessory gene regulator (Agr), which cause significantly less severe septic arthritis in murine models, were able to induce expression of several MMP mRNA comparable with that of their isogenic parent strain but induced notably higher levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). To our knowledge, this is the first report of induction of multiple MMP/TIMP expression from human dermal and synovial fibroblasts upon S. aureus treatment. We propose that host-derived MMPs contribute to the progressive joint destruction observed in S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis.
PMCID: PMC1794521  PMID: 17129374
10.  Altered expression of transforming growth factor beta 1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 results in elevated intraocular pressure in mice 
Molecular Vision  2013;19:684-695.
Extracellular matrix remodeling is thought to have profound effects on tissue architecture and associated function. We have shown previously that overexpression of transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), which stimulates matrix accumulation, results in altered morphology, cataract, and ocular hypertension in rodents. We have further shown that TGFβ-induced cataracts can be mitigated through inhibition of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) MMP-2 and MMP-9. We therefore sought to determine whether loss of MMP expression also altered TGFβ-induced changes in intraocular pressure (IOP).
To carry out this study, TGFβ1 transgenic mice were bred onto a MMP-9 null background. IOP measurements were made at 1- to 2-, 2- to 3-, and 3- to 4-month time points using a TonoLab rebound tonometer. Histological and immunofluorescence findings were obtained at the same time points.
Our results demonstrate that lens-specific expression of TGFβ1 in mice results in altered morphology of the anterior segment and an accompanying significant increase in IOP. TGFβ1 transgenic mice bred onto the MMP-9 null background exhibited a further increase in IOP. Interestingly, the MMP-9-deficient animals (without the TGFβ transgene), which exhibited normal angle morphology, had increased IOP levels compared to their wild-type littermates.
These results indicate that TGFβ and MMP-9 likely act independently in regulating IOP. Additionally, MMP-9 plays an important role in maintaining IOP, and further investigation into the mechanisms of MMP-9 activity in the anterior angle may give clues to how extracellular matrix remodeling participates in ocular hypertension and glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3611945  PMID: 23559862
11.  Tiotropium bromide inhibits TGF-β-induced MMP production from lung fibroblasts by interfering with Smad and MAPK pathways in vitro 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic inflammation and structural alterations (ie, tissue remodeling) throughout the conducting airways, parenchyma, and pulmonary vasculature. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are extracellular degrading enzymes that play a critical role in inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue remodeling, but the influence of the agents that are used for the treatment of COPD on the production of MMPs is not well understood.
The present study aimed to examine the influence of tiotropium bromide hydrate (TBH) on the production of MMPs from lung fibroblasts (LFs) induced by transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in vitro.
LFs, at a concentration of 5 × 105 cells·mL−1, were stimulated with TGF-β in the presence of various concentrations of TBH. MMP-1 and MMP-2 levels in culture supernatants were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and MMP messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The influence of TBH on TGF-β signaling pathways was also analyzed by examining Smad activation and signaling protein phosphorylation by ELISA.
TBH at more than 15 pg·mL−1 inhibited the production of MMP-1 and MMP-2, but not tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2, from LFs, after TGF-β stimulation. TBH also suppressed MMP mRNA expression through the inhibition of Smad activation and signaling protein, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and 2, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), phosphorylation.
These results may suggest that TBH suppresses MMP production from LFs, through interference of TGF-β-mediated signaling pathways and results in favorable modification of the clinical status of COPD.
PMCID: PMC2939683  PMID: 20856827
tiotropium bromide; matrix metalloproteinases; lung fibroblast; TGF-β; inhibition; in vitro
12.  The Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factor RasGRF1 promotes matrix metalloproteinase-3 production in rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(4):R121.
Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients share many similarities with transformed cancer cells, including spontaneous production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Altered or chronic activation of proto-oncogenic Ras family GTPases is thought to contribute to inflammation and joint destruction in RA, and abrogation of Ras family signaling is therapeutic in animal models of RA. Recently, expression and post-translational modification of Ras guanine nucleotide releasing factor 1 (RasGRF1) was found to contribute to spontaneous MMP production in melanoma cancer cells. Here, we examine the potential relationship between RasGRF1 expression and MMP production in RA, reactive arthritis, and inflammatory osteoarthritis synovial tissue and FLS.
Expression of RasGRF1, MMP-1, MMP-3, and IL-6 was detected in synovial tissue by immunohistochemistry and stained sections were evaluated by digital image analysis. Expression of RasGRF1 in FLS and synovial tissue was also assessed by immunoblotting. Double staining was performed to detect proteins in specific cell populations, and cells producing MMP-1 and MMP-3. RasGRF1 expression was manipulated in RA FLS by cDNA transfection and gene silencing, and effects on MMP-1, TIMP-1, MMP-3, IL-6, and IL-8 production measured by ELISA.
Expression of RasGRF1 was significantly enhanced in RA synovial tissue, and detected in FLS and synovial macrophages in situ. In cultured FLS and synovial biopsies, RasGRF1 was detected by immunoblotting as a truncated fragment lacking its negative regulatory domain. Production of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in RA but not non-RA synovial tissue positively correlated with expression of RasGRF1 and co-localized in cells expressing RasGRF1. RasGRF1 overexpression in FLS induced production of MMP-3, and RasGRF1 silencing inhibited spontaneous MMP-3 production.
Enhanced expression and post-translational modification of RasGRF1 contributes to MMP-3 production in RA synovial tissue and the semi-transformed phenotype of RA FLS.
PMCID: PMC2745805  PMID: 19678938
13.  Interleukin-1β Attenuates Myofibroblast Formation and Extracellular Matrix Production in Dermal and Lung Fibroblasts Exposed to Transforming Growth Factor-β1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91559.
One of the most potent pro-fibrotic cytokines is transforming growth factor (TGFβ). TGFβ is involved in the activation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, resulting in the hallmark of fibrosis: the pathological accumulation of collagen. Interleukin-1β (IL1β) can influence the severity of fibrosis, however much less is known about the direct effects on fibroblasts. Using lung and dermal fibroblasts, we have investigated the effects of IL1β, TGFβ1, and IL1β in combination with TGFβ1 on myofibroblast formation, collagen synthesis and collagen modification (including prolyl hydroxylase, lysyl hydroxylase and lysyl oxidase), and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We found that IL1β alone has no obvious pro-fibrotic effect on fibroblasts. However, IL1β is able to inhibit the TGFβ1-induced myofibroblast formation as well as collagen synthesis. Glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (GLI1), the Hedgehog transcription factor that is involved in the transformation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts is upregulated by TGFβ1. The addition of IL1β reduced the expression of GLI1 and thereby also indirectly inhibits myofibroblast formation. Other potentially anti-fibrotic effects of IL1β that were observed are the increased levels of MMP1, −2, −9 and −14 produced by fibroblasts exposed to TGFβ1/IL1β in comparison with fibroblasts exposed to TGFβ1 alone. In addition, IL1β decreased the TGFβ1-induced upregulation of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme involved in collagen cross-linking. Furthermore, we found that lung and dermal fibroblasts do not always behave identically towards IL1β. Suppression of COL1A1 by IL1β in the presence of TGFβ1 is more pronounced in lung fibroblasts compared to dermal fibroblasts, whereas a higher upregulation of MMP1 is seen in dermal fibroblasts. The role of IL1β in fibrosis should be reconsidered, and the differences in phenotypical properties of fibroblasts derived from different organs should be taken into account in future anti-fibrotic treatment regimes.
PMCID: PMC3951452  PMID: 24622053
14.  Predominant activation of MAP kinases and pro‐destructive/pro‐inflammatory features by TNF α in early‐passage synovial fibroblasts via TNF receptor‐1: failure of p38 inhibition to suppress matrix metalloproteinase‐1 in rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(8):1043-1051.
To examine the relative importance of tumour necrosis factor‐receptor 1 (TNF‐R1) and TNF‐R2 and their signalling pathways for pro‐inflammatory and pro‐destructive features of early‐passage synovial fibroblasts (SFB) from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
Cells were stimulated with tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α or agonistic anti‐TNF‐R1/TNF‐R2 monoclonal antibodies. Phosphorylation of p38, ERK and JNK kinases was assessed by western blot; proliferation by bromodesoxyuridine incorporation; interleukin (IL)6, IL8, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‐1 secretion by ELISA; and MMP‐3 secretion by western blot. Functional assays were performed with or without inhibition of p38 (SB203580), ERK (U0126) or JNK (SP600125).
In RA‐ and OA‐SFB, TNFα‐induced phosphorylation of p38, ERK or JNK was exclusively mediated by TNF‐R1. Reduction of proliferation and induction of IL6, IL8 and MMP‐1 were solely mediated by TNF‐R1, whereas PGE2 and MMP‐3 secretion was mediated by both TNF‐Rs. In general, inhibition of ERK or JNK did not significantly alter the TNFα influence on these effector molecules. In contrast, inhibition of p38 reversed TNFα effects on proliferation and IL6/PGE2 secretion (but not on IL8 and MMP‐3 secretion). The above effects were comparable in RA‐ and OA‐SFB, except that TNFα‐induced MMP‐1 secretion was reversed by p38 inhibition only in OA‐SFB.
In early‐passage RA/OA‐SFB, activation of MAPK cascades and pro‐inflammatory/pro‐destructive features by TNFα is predominantly mediated by TNF‐R1 and, for proliferation and IL6/PGE2 secretion, exclusively regulated by p38. Strikingly, RA‐SFB are insensitive to p38 inhibition of MMP‐1 secretion. This indicates a resistance of RA‐SFB to the inhibition of pro‐destructive functions and suggests underlying structural/functional alterations of the p38 pathway, which may contribute to the pathogenesis or therapeutic sensitivity of RA, or both.
PMCID: PMC1954705  PMID: 17223661
TNF‐receptor; synovial fibroblast; p38 MAP kinase; interleukin; matrix metalloproteinase
15.  Cytokines regulate matrix metalloproteinases and migration in cardiac fibroblasts 
We sought to define the relationship between cytokine stimulated release of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cell migration using adult rat cardiac fibroblasts. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) increased release of MMP-2, 3, and 9, and TIMP-1, by 3–6-fold, measured by immunoblotting and gel zymography. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) augmented IL-1 stimulated release of MMP-9, but not MMP-2 or -3. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1) attenuated all the responses to IL-1β. IL-1β was also the most robust stimulus of adult rat cardiac fibroblast migration, measured in Boyden chamber assays. The combination of IL-1β plus TNFα substantially enhanced migration, whereas TGFβ1 strongly inhibited the migratory response to IL-1β. The pan-selective MMP inhibitor GM 6001 effectively blocked IL-1β stimulated migration. Pharmacologic inhibitors selective for ERK, JNK, and p38 MAP kinase pathways inhibited the IL-1β regulation of individual MMPs. Increased MMP activity associated with migration of cardiac fibroblasts may be important determinants of cytokine-directed remodeling of injured myocardium.
PMCID: PMC2017114  PMID: 17706606
Cytokines; fibroblasts; MAP kinases; matrix metalloproteinases; migration
16.  Cigarette Smoke Stimulates Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Activity via EGR-1 in Human Lung Fibroblasts 
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recent reports of increased matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in lungs of patients with emphysema support the paradigm of proteinase/antiproteinase imbalance in the pathogenesis of COPD. We sought to define the signaling pathways activated by smoke and to identify molecules responsible for emphysema-associated MMP-2 expression. In this study, we show that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) induced MMP-2 protein expression and increased MMP-2 gelatinase activity of normal lung fibroblasts. We previously identified a transcription factor, early growth response 1 (EGR-1), with robust expression in the lung tissues of patients with COPD compared with control smokers. Here, the treatment of fibroblasts with CSE resulted in marked induction of EGR-1 mRNA and protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner, accompanied by increased EGR-1 binding activity. CSE-induced MMP-2 mRNA and protein expression and activity were significantly inhibited using EGR-1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) or in Egr-1–null−/− mouse fibroblasts. Furthermore, we observed induction of membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), which has an EGR-1–binding site on its promoter, in CSE-treated primary normal lung fibroblasts. The concomitant MT1-MMP expression and MMP-2 activation by CSE are inhibited by EGR-1 siRNA. Rapid activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases was observed in CSE-treated fibroblasts. Chemical inhibitors of ERK1/2 MAPK, but not of p38 and JNK, decreased CSE-induced EGR-1 protein expression and MMP-2 activity of fibroblasts. The identification that induction of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP by CSE from lung fibroblasts is EGR-1–dependent reveals a molecular mechanism for matrix remodeling in cigarette smoke–related emphysema.
PMCID: PMC1899323  PMID: 17099140
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; EGR-1; cigarette smoke extract; MMP-2; MT1-MMP
17.  Analysis of 16 different matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1 to MMP-20) in the synovial membrane: different profiles in trauma and rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1999;58(11):691-697.
OBJECTIVE—To define the pattern of mRNA expression of all human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) described to date in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and traumatic synovial membrane, in order to differentiate between a physiological tissue remodelling pattern and that associated with inflammatory tissue destruction.
METHODS—Analysis of SwissProt protein and EMBL/GenBank nucleotide sequence banks, protein sequence alignment, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and nucleotide sequencing were used.
RESULTS—MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin-1), MMP-11 (stromelysin-3) and MMP-19 were constitutively expressed. MMP-1 (fibroblast type collagenase), MMP-9 (gelatinase B) and MMP-14 (MT1-MMP) were expressed in all RA, but only in 55-80% of trauma samples. MMP-13 (collagenase-3) and MMP-15 (MT2-MMP) were expressed exclusively in RA (80-90% of the samples). MMP-20 (enamelysin) was absent and MMP-8 (collagenase-2) was rarely found in RA or trauma. All other MMPs (-7, -10, -12, -16, -17) had an intermediate pattern of expression.
CONCLUSIONS—Some MMPs without interstitial collagenase activity seem to have a constitutive pattern of expression and probably participate in physiological synovial tissue remodelling. Some MMPs are exclusively associated to RA synovitis, for example, MMP-13, which preferentially degrades type II collagen and aggrecan, and MMP-15, which activates proMMP-2 and proMMP-13 and is involved in tumour necrosis factor α processing. This clear cut rheumatoid/inflammatory MMP profile, more complex than has been previously appreciated, may facilitate inflammatory tissue destruction in RA.

PMCID: PMC1752794  PMID: 10531073
18.  TGF-β1 modulates the homeostasis between MMPs and MMP inhibitors through p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 in highly invasive breast cancer cells 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:26.
Metastasis is the main factor responsible for death in breast cancer patients. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors, known as tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs), and the membrane-associated MMP inhibitor (RECK), are essential for the metastatic process. We have previously shown a positive correlation between MMPs and their inhibitors expression during breast cancer progression; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying this coordinate regulation remain unknown. In this report, we investigated whether TGF-β1 could be a common regulator for MMPs, TIMPs and RECK in human breast cancer cell models.
The mRNA expression levels of TGF-β isoforms and their receptors were analyzed by qRT-PCR in a panel of five human breast cancer cell lines displaying different degrees of invasiveness and metastatic potential. The highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cell line was treated with different concentrations of recombinant TGF-β1 and also with pharmacological inhibitors of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2. The migratory and invasive potential of these treated cells were examined in vitro by transwell assays.
In general, TGF-β2, TβRI and TβRII are over-expressed in more aggressive cells, except for TβRI, which was also highly expressed in ZR-75-1 cells. In addition, TGF-β1-treated MDA-MB-231 cells presented significantly increased mRNA expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14, TIMP-2 and RECK. TGF-β1 also increased TIMP-2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 protein levels but downregulated RECK expression. Furthermore, we analyzed the involvement of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2, representing two well established Smad-independent pathways, in the proposed mechanism. Inhibition of p38MAPK blocked TGF-β1-increased mRNA expression of all MMPs and MMP inhibitors analyzed, and prevented TGF-β1 upregulation of TIMP-2 and MMP-2 proteins. Moreover, ERK1/2 inhibition increased RECK and prevented the TGF-β1 induction of pro-MMP-9 and TIMP-2 proteins. TGF-β1-enhanced migration and invasion capacities were blocked by p38MAPK, ERK1/2 and MMP inhibitors.
Altogether, our results support that TGF-β1 modulates the mRNA and protein levels of MMPs (MMP-2 and MMP-9) as much as their inhibitors (TIMP-2 and RECK). Therefore, this cytokine plays a crucial role in breast cancer progression by modulating key elements of ECM homeostasis control. Thus, although the complexity of this signaling network, TGF-β1 still remains a promising target for breast cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3277461  PMID: 22260435
19.  Borrelia burgdorferi-Induced Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases from Human Chondrocytes Requires Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase and Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription Signaling Pathways  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(5):2864-2871.
Elevations in matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) and MMP-3 have been found in patients with Lyme arthritis and in in vitro models of Lyme arthritis using cartilage explants and chondrocytes. The pathways by which B. burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, induces the production of MMP-1 and MMP-3 have not been elucidated. We examined the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathways in MMP induction by B. burgdorferi. Infection with B. burgdorferi results in rapid phosphorylation of p38 and JNK within 15 to 30 min. Inhibition of JNK and p38 MAPK significantly reduced B. burgdorferi-induced MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression. Inhibition of ERK1/2 completely inhibited the expression of MMP-3 in human chondrocytes following B. burgdorferi infection but had little effect on the expression of MMP-1. B. burgdorferi infection also induced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT-3 and STAT-6 in primary human chondrocytes. Expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 was significantly inhibited by inhibition of JAK3 activity. Induction of MMP-1 and -3 following MAPK and JAK/STAT activation was cycloheximide sensitive, suggesting synthesis of intermediary proteins is required. Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) significantly reduced MMP-1 but not MMP-3 expression from B. burgdorferi-infected cells; inhibition of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) had no effect. Treatment of B. burgdorferi-infected cells with JAK and MAPK inhibitors significantly inhibited TNF-α induction, consistent with at least a partial role for TNF-α in B. burgdorferi-induced MMP-1 expression in chondrocytes.
PMCID: PMC387916  PMID: 15102798
20.  Annexin II-dependent actin remodelling evoked by hydrogen peroxide requires the metalloproteinase/sphingolipid pathway 
Redox Biology  2014;4:169-179.
Actin remodeling is a dynamic process associated with cell shape modification occurring during cell cycle and proliferation. Oxidative stress plays a role in actin reorganization via various systems including p38MAPK. Beside, the mitogenic response evoked by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells (SMC) involves the metalloproteinase (MMPs)/sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) signaling pathway. The aim of this work was to investigate whether this system plays a role in actin remodeling induced by H2O2.
Low H2O2 dose (5 µM) rapidly triggered a signaling cascade leading to nSMase2 activation, src and annexin 2 (AnxA2) phosphorylation, and actin remodeling, in fibroblasts and SMC. These events were blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of MMPs (Ro28-2653) and p38MAPK (SB203580), and were lacking in MMP2−/− and in nSMase2-mutant (fro) fibroblasts. Likewise, H2O2 was unable to induce actin remodeling in fro and MMP2−/− fibroblasts or in cells pretreated with p38MAPK, or MMP inhibitors. Finally we show that nSMase2 activation by H2O2, depends on MMP2 and p38MAPK, and is required for the src-dependent phosphorylation of AnxA2, and actin remodeling.
Taken together, these findings indicate for the first time that AnxA2 phosphorylation and actin remodeling evoked by oxidative stress depend on the sphingolipid pathway, via MMP2 and p38MAPK.
Graphical abstract
Schematic diagram of the signaling pathway triggered by low H2O2 concentration, leading to actin remodeling and cell proliferation. H2O2 (5 μM) activates MMP2 which leads to p38MAPK activation. P38MAPK activates nSMase2 which generates ceramide that activates src kinase. Src phosphorylates AnxA2 which leads to ERK1/2 phosphorylation involved in actin remodeling and cell proliferation.
•Low concentration of H2O2 activates matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2.•MMP-2 activates p38MAPK, type 2 neutral sphingomyelinase.•This signaling pathway induces annexin II phosphorylation via src.•This pathway is involved in actin remodeling due to H2O2 stimulation.
PMCID: PMC4309845  PMID: 25574848
nSMase, neutral sphingomyelinase; nSMase2, type 2 neutral sphingomyelinase; SMC, smooth muscle cell; mFbl, mouse fibroblast; wt, wild type; fro, fragilitas ossium; mef, mouse embryonic fibroblast; MMP, matrix metalloproteinases; AnxA2, annexin 2; H2O2, hydrogen peroxide; ROS, reactive oxygen species; Oxidative stress; Fibroblasts; Smooth muscle cells; Sphingolipids; Actin; Vasculo-proliferative diseases
21.  Basic calcium phosphate crystals activate human osteoarthritic synovial fibroblasts and induce matrix metalloproteinase-13 (collagenase-3) in adult porcine articular chondrocytes 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2001;60(4):399-406.
OBJECTIVE—To determine the ability of basic calcium phosphate (BCP) crystals to induce (a) mitogenesis, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, and MMP-13 in human osteoarthritic synovial fibroblasts (HOAS) and (b) MMP-13 in cultured porcine articular chondrocytes.
METHODS—Mitogenesis of HOAS was measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation assay and counts of cells in monolayer culture. MMP messenger RNA (mRNA) accumulation was determined either by northern blot analysis or reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of RNA from chondrocytes or HOAS treated with BCP crystals. MMP-13 secretion was identified by immunoprecipitation and MMP-1 secretion by western blot of conditioned media.
RESULTS—BCP crystals caused a 4.5-fold increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation by HOAS within 20 hours compared with untreated control cultures (p⩽0.05). BCP crystals induced MMP-13 mRNA accumulation and MMP-13 protein secretion by articular chondrocytes. In contrast, in HOAS, MMP-13 mRNA induced by BCP crystals was detectable only by RT-PCR, and MMP-13 protein was undetectable. BCP crystals induced MMP-1 mRNA accumulation and MMP-1 protein secretion by HOAS. MMP-1 expression was further augmented when HOAS were co-incubated with either BCP and tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα; threefold) or BCP and interleukin 1α (IL1α; twofold).
CONCLUSION—These data confirm the ability of BCP crystals to activate HOAS, leading to the induction of mitogenesis and MMP-1 production. MMP-13 production in response to BCP crystals is substantially more detectable in porcine articular chondrocytes than in HOAS. These data support the active role of BCP crystals in osteoarthritis and suggest that BCP crystals act synergistically with IL1α and TNFα to promote MMP production and subsequent joint degeneration.

PMCID: PMC1753595  PMID: 11247873
22.  Macrophage migration inhibitory factor: a mediator of matrix metalloproteinase-2 production in rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by destruction of bone and cartilage, which is mediated, in part, by synovial fibroblasts. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of proteolytic enzymes responsible for matrix degradation. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine that induces the production of a large number of proinflammatory molecules and has an important role in the pathogenesis of RA by promoting inflammation and angiogenesis.
In the present study, we determined the role of MIF in RA synovial fibroblast MMP production and the underlying signaling mechanisms. We found that MIF induces RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 expression in a time-dependent and concentration-dependent manner. To elucidate the role of MIF in MMP-2 production, we produced zymosan-induced arthritis (ZIA) in MIF gene-deficient and wild-type mice. We found that MMP-2 protein levels were significantly decreased in MIF gene-deficient compared with wild-type mice joint homogenates. The expression of MMP-2 in ZIA was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). IHC revealed that MMP-2 is highly expressed in wild-type compared with MIF gene-deficient mice ZIA joints. Interestingly, synovial lining cells, endothelial cells, and sublining nonlymphoid mononuclear cells expressed MMP-2 in the ZIA synovium. Consistent with these results, in methylated BSA (mBSA) antigen-induced arthritis (AIA), a model of RA, enhanced MMP-2 expression was also observed in wild-type compared with MIF gene-deficient mice joints. To elucidate the signaling mechanisms in MIF-induced MMP-2 upregulation, RA synovial fibroblasts were stimulated with MIF in the presence of signaling inhibitors. We found that MIF-induced RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 upregulation required the protein kinase C (PKC), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and Src signaling pathways. We studied the expression of MMP-2 in the presence of PKC isoform-specific inhibitors and found that the PKCδ inhibitor rottlerin inhibits MIF-induced RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 production. Consistent with these results, MIF induced phosphorylation of JNK, PKCδ, and c-jun. These results indicate a potential novel role for MIF in tissue destruction in RA.
PMCID: PMC1779381  PMID: 16872482
23.  Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(6):455-461.
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.

PMCID: PMC1753174  PMID: 10834863
24.  TNF-α stimulates activation of pro-MMP2 in human skin through NF-κB mediated induction of MT1-MMP 
Journal of cell science  2001;114(Pt 1):131-139.
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is an important mediator during the inflammatory phase of wound healing. Excessive amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α are associated with inflammatory diseases including chronic wounds. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in matrix re-modeling during wound healing, angiogenesis and tumor metastasis. As with proinflammatory cytokines, high levels of MMPs have been found in inflammatory states such as chronic wounds. In this report we relate these two phenomena. TNF-α stimulates secretion of active MMP-2, a type IV collagenase, in organ-cultured full-thickness human skin. This suggests a mechanism whereby excess inflammation affects normal wound healing.
To investigate this observation at the cellular and molecular levels, we examined TNF-α mediated activation of pro-MMP-2, induction of MT1-MMP, and the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate the proteinase in isolated human dermal fibroblasts. We found that TNF-α substantially promoted activation of pro-MMP-2 in dermal fibroblasts embedded in type-I collagen. In marked contrast, collagen or TNF-α individually had little influence on the fibroblast-mediated pro-MMP-2 activation. One well-characterized mechanism for pro-MMP-2 activation is through a membrane type matrix metalloproteinase, such as MT1-MMP. We report that TNF-α significantly induced MT1-MMP at the mRNA and protein levels when the dermal fibroblasts were grown in collagen. Although the intracellular signaling pathway regulating mt1-mmp gene expression is still obscure, both TNF-α and collagen activate the NF-κB pathway. In this report we provide three sets of evidence to support a hypothesis that activation of NF-κB is essential to induce MT1-MMP expression in fibroblasts after TNF-α exposure. First, SN50, a peptide inhibitor for NF-κB nuclear translocation, simultaneously blocked the TNF-α and collagen mediated MT1-MMP induction and pro-MMP-2 activation. Secondly, TNF-α induced IκB to breakdown in fibroblasts within the collagen lattice, a critical step leading to NF-κB activation. Lastly, a consensus binding site for p65 NF-κB (TGGAGCTTCC) was found in the 5′-flanking region of human mt1-mmp gene.
Based on these results and previous reports, we propose a model to explain TNF-α activation of MMP-2 in human skin. Activation of NF-κB signaling in fibroblasts embedded in collagen induces mt1-mmp gene expression, which subsequently activates the pro-MMP-2. The findings provide a specific mechanism whereby TNF-α may affect matrix remodeling during wound healing and other physiological and pathological processes.
PMCID: PMC2435089  PMID: 11112697
TNF-alpha; MMP-2; MT1-MMP; NF-kappa B; Collagen; Type IV collagenase; Gelatinase A; Inflammatory cytokine; Wound healing; Skin
25.  Tumor cell and carcinoma-associated fibroblast interaction regulates matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in oral squamous cell carcinoma 
Experimental Cell Research  2012;318(13-16):1517-1527.
Co-culture of periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts and SCC-25 oral squamous carcinoma cells (OSCC), results in conversion of PDLs into carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Paracrin circuits between CAFs and OSCC cells were hypothesized to regulate the gene expression of matrix remodeling enzymes in their co-culture, which was performed for 7 days, followed by analysis of the mRNA/protein expression and activity of metalloproteinases (MMPs), their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) and other relevant genes. Interleukin1-β, transforming growth factor-β1, fibronectin and αvβ6 integrin have shown to be involved in the regulation of the MMP and TIMP gene expression in co-culture of CAFs and tumor cells. In addition, these cells also cooperated in activation of MMP pro-enzymes. It is particularly interesting that the fibroblast-produced inactive MMP-2 has been activated by the tumor-cell-produced membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP). The crosstalk between cancer- and the surrounding fibroblast stromal-cells is essential for the fine tuning of cancer cells invasivity.
Graphical abstract
Summary of the suggested mechanism for the regulation of MMPs and TIMPs in the paracrine interplay between SCC-25 cells and fibroblasts. MMP-9 showed a tumor specific expression, regulated presumably by the fibronectin ITGA5B6 pathway. The ITGA5 was inducible in both SCC-25 and PDL fibroblasts in co-culture, but ITGB6 expression was tumor (SCC-25) specific. Based on a previous report [41], MMP-9 might be activated in the interaction with CD-44, and according to our gelatinase assay results, it remains bound with the tumor cells (A). The results of this study suggest that MMP-2 is secreted in its pro- (inactive-) form by CAFs surrounding the tumor cells, and at a lower extent also by the tumor cells themselves. Activation of MMP-2 either requires MT1-MMP localized on the SCC-25 cancer cells [31], or integrins, where the involvement of αv integrins (ITGA5) is expected (A).
MMPs-1, 3 and TIMPs-1, 3 are produced in the PDL fibroblasts, and their expression might be regulated by inflammatory cytokines, including IL1-β produced by SCC-25 cells. The expression of TIMP-1 and TIMP-3 is 20–70-times higher than that of MMPs-1 and 3. The gene expression of MMP-1; 2, TIMP-1 and TIMP-3 was reduced by dexamethasone (DEX) (B).
PMCID: PMC3378977  PMID: 22516051
CAFs, carcinoma-associated fibroblasts; COX-2, prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2; DEX, dexamethasone; ECM, extracellular matrix; EMT, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; FBS, foetal bovine serum; FN, fibronectin; HNSCC, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; IL, interleukin; IMVD, intratumoral microvessel density; LTBP-1, latent-transforming growth factor beta-binding protein; 1MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; MT1-MMP, membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase; OSCC, oral squamous cell carcinoma; PDL, periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts; TGF-β1, transforming growth factor-β1; TIMP, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases; HNSCC; Co-culture insert; Metastasis; Matrix remodeling

Results 1-25 (1009046)