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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 20;277(38):34808-14. Epub 2002 Jul 1.

Transcription factor Sp1 phosphorylation induced by shear stress inhibits membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase expression in endothelium.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) plays a key role in endothelial cell migration, matrix remodeling, and angiogenesis. Previous studies demonstrated that a mechanical force, cyclic strain, increases MT1-MMP expression by displacing Sp1 with increased Egr-1 expression and binding to the promoter site. However, the effect of shear stress (SS) on MT1-MMP expression is poorly understood. Although Egr-1 mRNA transcription and protein was induced (7.6-fold) in response to SS (n = 5, 0-8 h, p < 0.05), SS decreased MT1-MMP mRNA transcription and protein levels in a time-dependent fashion (10, 50, and 90% reduction at 1, 4, and 8 h, respectively; n = 5, p < 0.05). Egr-1 protein was increased after SS and cyclic strain, but Sp1 was serine-phosphorylated only after SS. SS increased Sp1 DNA binding (3.8-, 5.8-, and 2.4-fold increase at 1, 4, and 8 h, respectively; n = 5, p < 0.05) that was inhibitable by calf intestinal phosphatase. Thus, SS inhibits MT1-MMP expression despite Egr-1 up-regulation by inducing the serine phosphorylation of Sp1, which in turn increases its binding affinity for its site on the MT1-MMP promoter, reducing the ability of Egr-1 to displace it. These data illustrate the complex control of microvascular endothelial cell MT1-MMP expression in response to distinct environmental stimuli (cyclic strain versus shear stress), consisting of both the modulation of specific transcription factor expression (Egr-1) as well as transcription factor post-translational modification (serine phosphorylation of Sp1).

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