Matrix Metalloproteinase-19 Is a Key Regulator of Lung Fibrosis in Mice and Humans
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease characterized by epithelial phenotypic changes and fibroblast activation. Based on the temporal heterogeneity of IPF, we hypothesized that hyperplastic alveolar epithelial cells regulate the fibrotic response. Objectives: To identify novel mediators of fibrosis comparing the transcriptional signature of hyperplastic epithelial cells and conserved epithelial cells in the same lung. Methods: Laser capture microscope and microarrays analysis were used to identify differentially expressed genes in IPF lungs. Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis was evaluated in Mmp19-deficient and wild-type (WT) mice. The role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-19 was additionally studied by transfecting the human MMP19 in alveolar epithelial cells. Measurements and Main Results: Laser capture microscope followed by microarray analysis revealed a novel mediator, MMP-19, in hyperplastic epithelial cells adjacent to fibrotic regions. Mmp19(-/-) mice showed a significantly increased lung fibrotic response to bleomycin compared with WT mice. A549 epithelial cells transfected with human MMP19 stimulated wound healing and cell migration, whereas silencing MMP19 had the opposite effect. Gene expression microarray of transfected A549 cells showed that PTGS2 (prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2) was one of the highly induced genes. PTGS2 was overexpressed in IPF lungs and colocalized with MMP-19 in hyperplastic epithelial cells. In WT mice, PTGS2 was significantly increased in bronchoalveolar lavage and lung tissues after bleomycin-induced fibrosis, but not in Mmp19(-/-) mice. Inhibition of Mmp-19 by siRNA resulted in inhibition of Ptgs2 at mRNA and protein levels. Conclusions: Up-regulation of MMP19 induced by lung injury may play a protective role in the development of fibrosis through the induction of PTGS2.
Available from: dmm.biologists.org
- "MMP-19 was identified as a potential target by a gene expression array that showed that MMP-19 was strongly upregulated in hyperplastic epithelial cells of IPF patients compared with epithelial cells of normal lung tissue (Yu et al., 2012). However, evaluation of fibrosis in Mmp19 –/– mice showed increased hydroxyproline and αSMA staining compared with the levels in wild-type animals. "
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ABSTRACT: Fibrosis - a debilitating condition that can occur in most organs - is characterized by excess deposition of a collagen-rich extracellular matrix (ECM). At first sight, the activities of proteinases that can degrade matrix, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), might be expected to be under-expressed in fibrosis or, if present, could function to resolve the excess matrix. However, as we review here, some MMPs are indeed anti-fibrotic, whereas others can have pro-fibrotic functions. MMPs modulate a range of biological processes, especially processes related to immunity and tissue repair and/or remodeling. Although we do not yet know precisely how MMPs function during fibrosis - that is, the protein substrate or substrates that an individual MMP acts on to effect a specific process - experiments in mouse models demonstrate that MMP-dependent functions during fibrosis are not limited to effects on ECM turnover. Rather, data from diverse models indicate that these proteinases influence cellular activities as varied as proliferation and survival, gene expression, and multiple aspects of inflammation that, in turn, impact outcomes related to fibrosis.
Available from: Elisabetta A Renzoni
- "The majority of these studies have investigated gene expression in whole lung tissue samples, mostly in the idiopathic setting . Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 7 , osteopontin , Twist1 , and MMP19 , are among suggested mediators identified using this strategy in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease characterised by a histological pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) [13,14]. In SSc, most microarray studies have been performed on skin biopsies and dermal fibroblasts . "
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ABSTRACT: Interstitial lung disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic sclerosis (SSc), with insufficiently effective treatment options. Progression of pulmonary fibrosis involves expanding populations of fibroblasts, and the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins. Characterisation of SSc lung fibroblast gene expression profiles underlying the fibrotic cell phenotype could enable a better understanding of the processes leading to the progressive build-up of scar tissue in the lungs. In this study we evaluate the transcriptomes of fibroblasts isolated from SSc lung biopsies at the time of diagnosis, compared with those from control lungs.
We used Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays to compare the gene expression profile of pulmonary fibroblasts cultured from 8 patients with pulmonary fibrosis associated with SSc (SSc-ILD), with those from control lung tissue peripheral to resected cancer (n=10). Fibroblast cultures from 3 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) were included as a further comparison. Genes differentially expressed were identified using two separate analysis programs following a set of pre-determined criteria: only genes significant in both analyses were considered. Microarray expression data was verified by qRT-PCR and/or western blot analysis.
A total of 843 genes were identified as differentially expressed in pulmonary fibroblasts from SSc-ILD and/or IPF compared to control lung, with a large overlap in the expression profiles of both diseases. We observed increased expression of a TGF-beta response signature including fibrosis associated genes and myofibroblast markers, with marked heterogeneity across samples. Strongly suppressed expression of interferon stimulated genes, including antiviral, chemokine, and MHC class 1 genes, was uniformly observed in fibrotic fibroblasts. This expression profile includes key regulators and mediators of the interferon response, such as STAT1, and CXCL10, and was also independent of disease group.
This study identified a strongly suppressed interferon-stimulated gene program in fibroblasts from fibrotic lung. The data suggests that the repressed expression of interferon-stimulated genes may underpin critical aspects of the profibrotic fibroblast phenotype, identifying an area in pulmonary fibrosis that requires further investigation.
Available from: Martin Gregor
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ABSTRACT: Liver fibrosis is characterized by the deposition and increased turnover of extracellular matrix. This process is controlled by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), whose expression and activity dynamically change during injury progression. MMP-19, one of the most widely expressed MMPs, is highly expressed in liver; however, its contribution to liver pathology is unknown. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of MMP-19 during the development and resolution of fibrosis by comparing the response of MMP-19-deficient (MMP19KO) and wild-type mice upon chronic liver CCl(4)-intoxication. We show that loss of MMP-19 was beneficial during liver injury, as plasma ALT and AST levels, deposition of fibrillar collagen, and phosphorylation of SMAD3, a TGF-ß1 signaling molecule, were all significantly lower in MMP19KO mice. The ameliorated course of the disease in MMP19KO mice likely results from a slower rate of basement membrane destruction and ECM remodeling as the knockout mice maintained significantly higher levels of type IV collagen and lower expression and activation of MMP-2 after 4 weeks of CCl(4)-intoxication. Hastened liver regeneration in MMP19KO mice was associated with slightly higher IGF-1 mRNA expression, slightly increased phosphorylation of Akt kinase, decreased TGF-ß1 mRNA levels and significantly reduced SMAD3 phosphorylation. In addition, primary hepatocytes isolated from MMP19KO mice showed impaired responsiveness towards TGF-ß1 stimulation, resulting in lower expression of Snail1 and vimentin mRNA. Thus, MMP-19-deficiency improves the development of hepatic fibrosis through the diminished replacement of physiological extracellular matrix with fibrotic deposits in the beginning of the injury, leading to subsequent changes in TGF-ß and IGF-1 signaling pathways.
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