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Biochem J. 2001 Aug 15;358(Pt 1):41-8.

Overexpression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 mediates phenotypic transformation of lens epithelial cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-ku, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is known to be a causative factor in pathological fibrosis and the metastasis of cancer cells, through effects on molecules of the extracellular matrix (ECM). We evaluated the influence of TGF-beta(1) on the gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in lens epithelial cells (LECs). The results showed that TGF-beta(1) induced the expression of mRNA for MMP-2 in LECs. Subsequently, in order to examine the role of MMP-2, we overexpressed MMP-2 in LECs by stable transfection. The MMP-2-overexpressing LECs showed typical indicators of a myofibroblast-like cell phenotype, such as multiple layers of cells, elongated morphology, and expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin. We also showed that an MMP inhibitor blocked the TGF-beta(1)-induced morphological change in LECs. These results demonstrate that MMP-2 plays a role in the transformation of LECs, which has implications for the pathological fibrosis of these cells.

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