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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 Jan;290(1):F43-51. Epub 2005 Aug 2.

Ischemia-induced cleavage of cadherins in NRK cells requires MT1-MMP (MMP-14).

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  • 1Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, College Station, Texas, USA.


Ischemia is a leading cause of acute renal failure (ARF), a disease associated with high morbidity and mortality. Disruption of intercellular adhesion in the proximal tubules is linked to ARF, although the molecular mechanism(s) remains unclear. Our previous studies showed that ischemia is associated with cadherin cleavage and loss in NRK cells, putatively due to a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) (7). In the current studies, a MMP required for E-cadherin cleavage and N-cadherin loss was identified. Chemical inhibitors against a number of soluble MMPs (1, 2, 3, 8, 9) failed to completely attenuate ischemia-induced cadherin loss. Under ischemic conditions, there was an increase in active membrane-type (MT)1-MMP but a decrease in MMP-2 protein expression. Plating cells on fibronectin protected against ischemia-induced loss of cadherins and, interestingly, no increase in active MT1-MMP levels was seen in ischemic cells on fibronectin-coated dishes. In addition, L cells stably expressing E- (LE) or N-cadherin (LN), but lacking MT1-MMP expression, were resistant to ischemia-induced cadherin loss. The role of MT1-MMP in ischemia-induced cadherin loss was confirmed by either blocking MT1-MMP activity with a neutralizing antibody or expression with shRNA constructs which protected full-length E- and N-cadherin during ischemia. Using shRNA constructs to suppress MT1-MMP expression, ischemia-induced disruption of cadherin function was ablated, and cell-cell contacts were preserved. These results demonstrate that ischemia induces increased expression of active MT1-MMP and subsequent disruption of cadherin/catenin complexes, implying that MT1-MMP plays a role in ischemia-induced ARF.

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