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

Loss of integrin alpha(v)beta6-mediated TGF-beta activation causes Mmp12-dependent emphysema.

Integrins are heterodimeric cell-surface proteins that regulate cell growth, migration and survival. We have shown previously that the epithelial-restricted integrin alpha(v)beta6 has another critical function; that is, it binds and activates latent transforming growth factor-beta ( TGF-beta). Through a global analysis of pulmonary gene expression in the lungs of mice lacking this integrin ( Itgb6 null mice) we have identified a marked induction of macrophage metalloelastase (Mmp12)--a metalloproteinase that preferentially degrades elastin and has been implicated in the chronic lung disease emphysema. Here we report that Itgb6-null mice develop age-related emphysema that is completely abrogated either by transgenic expression of versions of the beta6 integrin subunit that support TGF-beta activation, or by the loss of Mmp12. Furthermore, we show that the effects of Itgb6 deletion are overcome by simultaneous transgenic expression of active TGF-beta1. We have uncovered a pathway in which the loss of integrin-mediated activation of latent TGF-beta causes age-dependent pulmonary emphysema through alterations of macrophage Mmp12 expression. Furthermore, we show that a functional alteration in the TGF-beta activation pathway affects susceptibility to this disease.[1]


  1. Loss of integrin alpha(v)beta6-mediated TGF-beta activation causes Mmp12-dependent emphysema. Morris, D.G., Huang, X., Kaminski, N., Wang, Y., Shapiro, S.D., Dolganov, G., Glick, A., Sheppard, D. Nature (2003) [Pubmed]
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