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Methods for analysis of matrix metalloproteinase regulation of neutrophil-endothelial cell adhesion


Recent evidence indicates novel role for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in particular gelatinase A (MMP-2), in the regulation of vascular biology that are unrelated to their well-known proteolytic breakdown of matrix proteins. We have previously reported that MMP-2 can modulate vascular reactivity by cleavage of the Gly32-Leu33 bound in big endothelin-1 (ET-1) yielding a novel vasoactive peptide ET-1[1–32]. These studies were conducted to investigate whether gelatinolytic MMPs could affect neutrophil-endothelial cell attachment. ET-1[1–32] produced by MMP-2 up-regulated CD11b/CD18 expression on human neutrophils, thereby promoted their adhesion to cultured endothelial cells. ET-1[1–32] evoked release of gelatinase B (MMP-9), which in turn cleaved big ET-1 to yield ET-1[1–32], thus revealing a self-amplifying loop for ET-1[1–32] generation. ET-1[1–32] was rather resistant to cleavage by neutrophil proteases and further metabolism of ET-1[1–32] was not a prerequisite for its biological actions on neutrophils. The neutrophil responses to ET-1[1–32] were mediated via activation of ETA receptors through activation of the Ras/Raf-1/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. These results suggest a novel role for gelatinase A and B in the regulation of neutrophil functions and their interactions with endothelial cells. Here we describe the methods in detail as they relate to our previously published work.


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Correspondence to János G. Filep.

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Published: October 28, 2002

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Fernandez-Patron, C., Zouki, C., Whittal, R.M. et al. Methods for analysis of matrix metalloproteinase regulation of neutrophil-endothelial cell adhesion. Biol Proced Online 4, 38–48 (2002).

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Indexing terms

  • matrix metalloproteinases
  • big endothelin-1
  • endothelin-1(1-32)
  • neutrophil granulocytes
  • endothelial cells
  • adhesion molecules
  • MAPK signaling
  • leukocyte trafficking
  • inflammation
  • innate immunity