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

Expression of matrix metalloproteinases during rat skin wound healing: evidence that membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase is a stromal activator of pro-gelatinase A.

Skin wound healing depends on cell migration and extracellular matrix remodeling. Both processes, which are necessary for reepithelization and restoration of the underlying connective tissue, are believed to involve the action of extracellular proteinases. We screened cDNA libraries and we found that six matrix metalloproteinase genes were highly expressed during rat skin wound healing. They were namely those of stromelysin 1, stromelysin 3, collagenase 3, gelatinase A (GelA), gelatinase B, and membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP). The expression kinetics of these MMP genes, the tissue distribution of their transcripts, the results of cotransfection experiments in COS-1 cells, and zymographic analyses performed using microdissected rat wound tissues support the possibility that during cutaneous wound healing pro-GelA and pro-gelatinase B are activated by MT1-MMP and stromelysin 1, respectively. Since MT1-MMP has been demonstrated to be a membrane-associated protein (Sato, H., T. Takino, Y. Okada, J. Cao, A. Shinagawa, E. Yamamoto, and M. Seiki. 1994. Nature (Lond.). 370: 61-65), our finding that GelA and MT1-MMP transcripts were expressed in stromal cells exhibiting a similar tissue distribution suggests that MT1-MMP activates pro-GelA at the stromal cell surface. This possibility is further supported by our observation that the processing of pro-GelA to its mature form correlated to the detection of MT1-MMP in cell membranes of rat fibroblasts expressing the MT1-MMP and GelA genes. These observations, together with the detection of high levels of the mature GelA form in the granulation tissue but not in the regenerating epidermis, suggest that MT1-MMP and GelA contribute to the restoration of connective tissue during rat skin wound healing.[1]


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