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J Cell Biol. 2006 Oct 9;175(1):179-91.

Coregulation of vascular tube stabilization by endothelial cell TIMP-2 and pericyte TIMP-3.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


The endothelial cell (EC)-derived tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) and pericyte-derived TIMP-3 are shown to coregulate human capillary tube stabilization following EC-pericyte interactions through a combined ability to block EC tube morphogenesis and regression in three-dimensional collagen matrices. EC-pericyte interactions strongly induce TIMP-3 expression by pericytes, whereas ECs produce TIMP-2 in EC-pericyte cocultures. Using small interfering RNA technology, the suppression of EC TIMP-2 and pericyte TIMP-3 expression leads to capillary tube regression in these cocultures in a matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1)-, MMP-10-, and ADAM-15 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase-15)-dependent manner. Furthermore, we show that EC tube morphogenesis (lumen formation and invasion) is primarily controlled by the TIMP-2 and -3 target membrane type (MT) 1 MMP. Additional targets of these inhibitors include MT2-MMP and ADAM-15, which also regulate EC invasion. Mutagenesis experiments reveal that TIMP-3 requires its proteinase inhibitory function to induce tube stabilization. Overall, these data reveal a novel role for both TIMP-2 and -3 in the pericyte-induced stabilization of newly formed vascular networks that are predisposed to undergo regression and reveal specific molecular targets of the inhibitors regulating these events.

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