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Am J Pathol. 2000 Dec;157(6):1955-62.

Ligation of alpha4ss1 integrin on human intestinal mucosal mesenchymal cells selectively Up-regulates membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase and confers a migratory phenotype.

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Centre for Infection, Allergy, Inflammation and Repair, University of Southampton School of Medicine, Southampton, United Kingdom.


Human intestinal lamina propria mesenchymal cells show high surface expression of the alpha4ss1 integrin. Ligation of alpha4ss1 on mesenchymal cell lines with an activating monoclonal anti-alpha4 antibody or vascular cell adhesion molecule-immunoglobulin (VCAM-IgG) leads to the appearance of activated forms of gelatinase A in culture supernatants, and the de novo expression of activated membrane type-1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP). In functional assays, signaling through alpha4ss1 results in an increased capacity of mesenchymal cells to migrate through an artificial extracellular matrix, an effect inhibitable by excess tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2. In organ cultures of human intestine, VCAM-IgG also up-regulates MT1-MMP, and in mucosal ulcers of inflammatory bowel disease patients, MT1-MMP transcripts are abundant, coincident with expression of VCAM-1 on cells at the ulcer margin. Collectively these results suggest that alpha4ss1-induced up-regulation of MT1-MMP may be a crucial factor in the migration of mesenchymal cells into ulcer beds during restitution of diseased gut mucosa.

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