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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Progelatinase A is produced and activated by rat hepatic stellate cells and promotes their proliferation.

Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are a potential source of gelatinase A, which accumulates in fibrotic livers. Progelatinase A activation requires its binding to a complex of membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase ( MT-MMP) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-2. These studies examine gelatinase A, MT1-MMP, and TIMP-2 synthesis by HSCs during activation in vitro and the potential role of gelatinase A in promoting HSC proliferation. Gelatinase A, MT1-MMP, and TIMP-2 messenger RNA (mRNA) were all upregulated in HSCs activated on plastic over 5 to 14 days. Gelatinase A expression was maximal at 7 days of culture, coinciding with the peak of HSC proliferation and the onset of procollagen I and alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) mRNA expression. Active forms of gelatinase A of 62 kd and 66 kd were secreted by activated HSCs and reached a maximum of 12.1% of total enzyme in 14-day culture supernatants. Treatment of HSCs with concanavalin A (con A) induced activation of MT1-MMP and enhanced secretion of activated gelatinase A, which reached a maximum of 44.4% of the total enzyme secreted into culture supernatants using 30 microgram/mL con A. [(14)C]-gelatin degradation assays confirmed the presence of gelatinolytic activity in activated HSC supernatants, which reached a maximum level at 7 days of culture. Antisense oligonucleotide inhibition of endogenous progelatinase A production, or the MMP inhibitor 1,10-phenanthroline inhibited (3)H-thymidine incorporation into HSC DNA by greater than 50%. We conclude that HSCs produce progelatinase A during activation in vitro and activate this enzyme coincident with MT1-MMP and TIMP-2 synthesis. Gelatinase A activity is required for maximal proliferation of HSCs in vitro suggesting this metalloproteinase is an autocrine proliferation factor for HSCs.[1]


  1. Progelatinase A is produced and activated by rat hepatic stellate cells and promotes their proliferation. Benyon, R.C., Hovell, C.J., Da Gaça, M., Jones, E.H., Iredale, J.P., Arthur, M.J. Hepatology (1999) [Pubmed]
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