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1.  Ovarian Membrane-Type Matrix Metalloproteinases: Induction of MMP14 and MMP16 During the Periovulatory Period in the Rat, Macaque, and Human1 
Biology of Reproduction  2014;91(2):34, 1-12.
An intrafollicular increase in proteolytic activity drives ovulatory events. Surprisingly, the periovulatory expression profile of the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs), unique proteases anchored to the cell surface, has not been extensively examined. Expression profiles of the MT-MMPs were investigated in ovarian tissue from well-characterized rat and macaque periovulatory models and naturally cycling women across the periovulatory period. Among the six known MT-MMPs, mRNA expression of Mmp14, Mmp16, and Mmp25 was increased after human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration in rats. In human granulosa cells, mRNA expression of MMP14 and MMP16 increased following hCG treatment. In contrast, mRNA levels of MMP16 and MMP25 in human theca cells were unchanged before ovulation but declined by the postovulatory stage. In macaque granulosa cells, hCG increased mRNA for MMP16 but not MMP14. Immunoblotting showed that protein levels of MMP14 and MMP16 in rats increased, similar to their mRNA expression. In macaque granulosa cells, only the active form of the MMP14 protein increased after hCG, unlike its mRNA or the proprotein. By immunohistochemistry, both MMP14 and MMP16 localized to the different ovarian cell types in rats and humans. Treatment with hCG resulted in intense immunoreactivity of MMP14 and MMP16 proteins in the granulosa and theca cells. The present study shows that MMP14 and MMP16 are increased by hCG administration in the ovulating follicle, demonstrating that these MMPs are conserved among rats, macaques, and humans. These findings suggest that MT-MMPs could have an important role in promoting ovulation and remodeling of the ovulated follicle into the corpus luteum.
PMCID: PMC4435413  PMID: 24920038
extracellular matrix; granulosa cells; matrix metalloproteinase; ovary; ovulation; theca cell
2.  Ovarian Expression, Localization, and Function of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) During the Periovulatory Period of the Human Menstrual Cycle1 
Biology of Reproduction  2013;89(5):121.
Ovulation involves reorganization of the extracellular matrix of the follicle. This study examines the expression, localization, and potential function of the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) during ovulation in women. The dominant follicle of the menstrual cycle was collected at specified times throughout the ovulatory process: pre-, early, late, and postovulatory. For quantitative studies, the follicle was bisected; granulosa and theca cells were separated and collected. For immunohistochemistry (IHC), the intact follicle was embedded and TIMP3 was localized. Additionally, granulosa cells were collected from women undergoing in vitro fertilization and treated with increasing concentrations of recombinant TIMP3, and cell viability was assessed. Real-time PCR for TIMP3 mRNA revealed an increase in TIMP3 mRNA expression in granulosa cells from the early to the late ovulatory stage. Thecal TIMP3 mRNA expression was constitutive across the periovulatory period. TIMP3 protein was localized by IHC to the granulosa and theca cell layers in pre-, early, and late ovulatory follicles as well as to the vascular bed. The staining was most intense in the granulosa and theca cells in the late ovulatory group. Treatment of human granulosa-lutein cells with exogenous recombinant TIMP3 for 24 h decreased cell viability by 60%. Using human follicles collected throughout the periovulatory period of the menstrual cycle, we have demonstrated that TIMP3 mRNA expression increases and that TIMP3 protein is in the appropriate cellular layers to regulate proteolytic remodeling as the follicle progresses toward ovulation. In addition, we have shown that elevated levels of TIMP3 lead to decreased cell viability.
PMCID: PMC4434989  PMID: 24048576
follicle; granulosa cell; human; ovary; ovulation; protease inhibitor; theca cell
3.  Ovarian Expression and Regulation of the Stromelysins During the Periovulatory Period in the Human and the Rat1 
Biology of Reproduction  2011;86(3):78.
The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are postulated to facilitate follicular rupture. In the present study, expression of the stromelysins (MMP3, MMP10, MMP11) was analyzed in the periovulatory human and rat ovary. Human granulosa and theca cells were collected from the dominant follicle at various times after human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Intact rat ovaries, granulosa cells, and residual tissue (tissue remaining after granulosa cell collection) were isolated from equine CG (eCG)-hCG-primed animals. Mmp10 mRNA was highly induced in human granulosa and theca cells and intact rat ovaries, granulosa cells, and residual tissue. Localization of MMP10 to granulosa and theca cells in both human and rat ovarian follicles was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Mmp3 mRNA was unchanged in human cells and rat granulosa cells, but increased in intact rat ovaries and residual tissue. Mmp11 mRNA decreased following hCG treatment in human granulosa and theca cells as well as rat granulosa cells. Regulation of Mmp10 in cultured rat granulosa cells revealed that the EGF inhibitor AG1478 and the progesterone receptor antagonist RU486 suppressed the induction of Mmp10 mRNA, whereas the prostaglandin inhibitor NS398 had no effect. Studies on the Mmp10 promoter demonstrated that forskolin plus PMA stimulated promoter activity, which was dependent upon a proximal AP1 site. In conclusion, there are divergent patterns of stromelysin expression associated with ovulation, with a marked induction of Mmp10 mRNA and a decrease in Mmp11 mRNA, yet a species-dependent pattern on Mmp3 mRNA expression. The induction of Mmp10 expression suggests an important role for this MMP in the follicular changes associated with ovulation and subsequent luteinization.
Expression of the metalloproteinase Mmp10 mRNA is stimulated by hCG prior to follicular rupture in both the human and the rat ovary, indicating involvement in ovulation and subsequent luteinization.
PMCID: PMC3316269  PMID: 22116802
extracellular matrix; granulosa cells; matrix metalloproteinase; ovulation; ovulatory cycle; proteinases; theca cells
4.  Identification of Hepsin and Protein Disulfide Isomerase A3 as Targets of Gelatinolytic Action in Rat Ovarian Granulosa Cells During the Periovulatory Period1  
Biology of Reproduction  2011;85(4):858-866.
The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family is believed to play a role in the ovulatory process because MMP inhibitors block oocyte release. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which the MMPs affect ovulation. The present study investigated the degradomic actions of the gelatinases, MMP2 and MMP9, by identifying gelatinolytic targets in periovulatory granulosa cells. Granulosa cells were collected from immature rats 48 h after equine chorionic gonadotropin treatment and were cultured with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the absence or presence of a specific MMP2/9 inhibitor ((2R)-2-[(4-biphenylylsulfonyl)amino]-3-phenylpropionic acid) for an additional 24 h. The conditioned media was analyzed for gelatinolytic activity, progesterone, and peptide profiles. Gelatinolytic activity and progesterone were induced in response to hCG; however, there was no difference in progesterone between cells treated with or without the inhibitor. Peptide fragments of proteins altered in the presence of the gelatinase inhibitor were identified by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Protein disulfide isomerase A3 (PDIA3), which plays a role in protein folding, was identified as a peptide that decreased in the presence of inhibitor while the serine protease hepsin, was found to increase with inhibitor treatment. Subsequent experiments established that PDIA3 and hepsin were targets of MMP2/9 action by cleavage with MMP2 and Western blot analysis, respectively. Additionally, hepsin was identified as a gelatinolytic target in ovarian cancer cells. In the present study, proteomics has identified proteins that may be involved in novel ways in the complex cascades that are mediated by gelatinolytic MMPs during the periovulatory period.
Gelatinases from rat granulosa cells degrade hepsin and protein disulfide isomerase A3.
PMCID: PMC3184295  PMID: 21734266
corpus luteum; hepsin; matrix metalloproteinase; ovulation; protein disulfide isomerase A3

Results 1-4 (4)