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1.  Membrane Environment Exerts an Important Influence on Rac-Mediated Activation of Phospholipase Cγ2 ▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(6):1240-1251.
We performed analyses of the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2). We identified several regions in the PLCγ-specific array, γSA, that contribute to autoinhibition in the basal state by occlusion of the catalytic domain. While the activation of PLCγ2 by Rac2 requires stable translocation to the membrane, the removal of the domains required for membrane translocation in the context of an enzyme with impaired autoinhibition generated constitutive, highly active PLC in cells. We further tested the possibility that the interaction of PLCγ2 with its activator protein Rac2 was sufficient for activation through the release of autoinhibition. However, we found that Rac2 binding in the absence of lipid surfaces was not able to activate PLCγ2. Together with other observations, these data suggest that an important consequence of Rac2 binding and translocation to the membrane is that membrane proximity, on its own or together with Rac2, has a role in the release of autoinhibition, resulting in interfacial activation.
PMCID: PMC3067904  PMID: 21245382
2.  MT1-MMP is a crucial promotor of synovial invasion in human rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(3):686.
A hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is invasion of the synovial pannus into cartilage and this step requires degradation of the collagen matrix. The aim of this study was to explore the role of one of the collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), membrane-type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP), in synovial pannus invasiveness.
Expression and localization of MT1-MMP in human RA pannus were investigated by Western blot analysis of primary synovial cells and immunohistochemistry of RA joints specimens. The functional role of MT1-MMP was analyzed by 3D collagen invasion assays and a cartilage invasion assay in the presence or absence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, TIMP-2, or GM6001. The effect of adenoviral expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP construct lacking a catalytic domain was also examined.
MT1-MMP was highly expressed at the pannus-cartilage junction of RA joints. Freshly isolated rheumatoid synovial tissues and isolated RA synovial fibroblasts invaded into a 3D collagen matrix in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. Invasion was blocked by TIMP-2 and GM6001, but not by TIMP-1. It was also inhibited by the over-expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP which inhibits collagenolytic activity and proMMP-2 activation by MT1-MMP on the cell surface. Synovial fibroblasts also invaded into cartilage in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. This process was further enhanced by removing aggrecan from the cartilage matrix.
MT1-MMP is an essential collagen-degrading proteinase during pannus invasion in human RA. Specific inhibition of MT1-MMP-dependent invasion may form a novel therapeutic strategy for RA.
PMCID: PMC2819053  PMID: 19248098
MT1-MMP; synovial pannus; rheumatoid arthritis

Results 1-2 (2)