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J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 8;281(36):26424-36. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Expression cloning identifies transgelin (SM22) as a novel repressor of 92-kDa type IV collagenase (MMP-9) expression.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The 92-kDa gelatinase (MMP-9) expression is prerequisite for tissue remodeling in physiology and cancer. However, there are few known regulators of MMP-9 expression. Using an expression cloning strategy, we identified transgelin (SM22), a 22-25-kDa actin-binding protein localized to the cell membrane and cytoplasm, as a novel regulator of MMP-9 expression. Overexpression of a SM22 cDNA in HT1080 cells decreased MMP-9 mRNA/protein levels and diminished in vitro invasion of the latter rescued with exogenous MMP-9. Conversely, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of SM22 elevated MMP-9 synthesis, and uterus from SM22-null mice showed strong MMP-9 immunoreactivity compared with wild type animals. The ability of SM22 to repress MMP-9 expression required an intact amino terminus calponin homology domain. MMP-9 expression is driven by ERK signaling and SM22 targeted this pathway as evidenced by (a) the transience in MAPK activation and (b) blunted stimulation of the MMP-9 promoter by a constitutively active MEK expression vector. Progressive deletion analysis located the SM22 responsive region of the MMP-9 promoter to the proximal 90-bp region harboring an AP-1 motif subsequently implicated by site-directed mutagenesis. Furthermore, nuclear extract from the SM22 transfectants showed diminished c-Fos binding to this motif and SM22 expression reduced the activity of an AP-1-driven reporter by 75%. Thus, SM22 adds to a short list of repressors of MMP-9 expression, achieving this by reducing AP-1-dependent trans-activation of the gene by way of compromised ERK activation. Diminished transgelin expression in several cancers may thus partly account for the elevated MMP-9 expression evident in these tumors.

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