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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 8;102(45):16345-50. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Intronic regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 revealed by in vivo transcriptional analysis in ischemia.

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  • 1Division of Vascular Surgery, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Pacific Vascular Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.


Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) plays an essential role in angiogenesis and arteriogenesis, two processes critical to restoration of tissue perfusion after ischemia. MMP-2 expression is increased in tissue ischemia, but the responsible mechanisms remain unknown. We studied the transcriptional activation of the MMP-2 gene in a model of hindlimb ischemia by using various MMP-2-lacZ reporter mice and chromatin immunoprecipitation. MMP-2 activity and mRNA were increased after hindlimb ischemia. Mice with targeted deletion of MMP-2 had impaired restoration of perfusion and a high incidence of limb gangrene, indicating that MMP-2 plays a critical role in ischemia-induced revascularization. Ischemia induced the expression and binding of c-Fos, c-Jun, JunB, FosB, and Fra2 to a noncanonical activating protein-1 (AP-1) site present in the MMP-2 promoter and decreased binding of the transcriptional repressor JunD. Ischemia also activated the expression and binding of p53 to an adjacent enhancer site (RE-1) and increased expression and binding of nuclear factor of activated T-cells-c2 to consensus sequences within the first intron. Deletion of either the 5' AP-1/RE-1 region of the promoter or substitution of the first intron abolished ischemia-induced MMP-2 transcription in vivo. Thus, AP-1 transcription factors and intronic activation by nuclear factor of activated T-cells-c2 act in concert to drive ischemia-induced MMP-2 transcription. These findings define a critical role for MMP-2 in ischemia-induced revascularization and identify both previously uncharacterized regulatory elements within the MMP-2 gene and the cognate transcription factors required for MMP-2 activation in vivo after tissue ischemia.

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