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Immunity. 2007 Feb;26(2):227-39.

Wnt signaling induces matrix metalloproteinase expression and regulates T cell transmigration.

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  • 1Center for Immunology, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


Wnts are a family of secreted glycoproteins with diverse developmental roles, including regulation of cell migration; however, little is known about wnt signaling in mature T cells. We find that endothelial-cell-derived wnts, acting through Frizzled receptors, induce matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and MMP9 expression in effector T cells. Blocking wnt signaling, or MMP activity, reduces T cell migration through the basement membrane in vitro and into inflamed skin in vivo. Wnt signaling stabilizes beta-catenin protein in T cells and directly targets the MMP promoters through tandem TCF sites. Thus, our data support a necessary and previously unexpected role for wnt signaling in T cell extravasation.

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