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Matrix metalloproteinase 28, a novel matrix metalloproteinase, is constitutively expressed in human intervertebral disc tissue and is present in matrix of more degenerated discs



Matrix metalloproteinase 28, a novel matrix metalloproteinase, is constitutively expressed in human intervertebral disc tissue and is present in matrix of more degenerated discs



Arthritis Research and Therapy 11(6): R184



The regulation and elevation in expression of the catabolic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is of high importance in the human intervertebral disc since upregulation of these matrix-degrading enzymes results in matrix destruction associated with disc degeneration. MMP28 (epilysin) is a newly discovered MMP believed to play a role in matrix composition and turnover in skin. It is present in basal keratinocytes where its expression is upregulated with wound repair, and in cartilage and synovium where it is upregulated in osteoarthritis. Recent work has shown that mechanical compression can act to modulate expression of MMP28. The expression of MMP28 is unexplored in the intervertebral disc. Following approval by our human subjects institutional review board, we employed microarray analyses to evaluate in vivo expression of MMP28 and the MMP28 precursor in human disc tissue, and utilized immunohistochemistry to determine cellular and extracellular matrix localization of MMP28 in 35 human disc tissue specimens. The percentage of cells positive for MMP28 immunocytochemical localization was also determined. The present work documents the expression and presence of MMP28 in cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) of the human intervertebral disc. Gene expression levels in human disc tissue were detectable for both MMP28 and the MMP28 precursor. MMP28 cytoplasmic localization was present in cells of the outer annulus; it was also present in some, but not all, cells of the inner annulus and nucleus. MMP28 was not found in the ECM of healthier Grade I to II discs, but was identified in the ECM of 61% of the more degenerated Grade III to V discs (P = 0.0018). There was a significant difference in cellular MMP28 distribution in the disc (P = 0.008): the outer annulus showed the largest percentage of cells positive for MMP28 immunolocalization, followed by the inner annulus and then the nucleus. Herniated discs showed a significantly greater proportion of MMP28-positive cells compared with nonherniated discs (P = 0.034). Findings presented here show the first documentation of intervertebral disc expression and production of MMP28. MMP28 was found in both disc cell cytoplasm and in the ECM of more degenerated specimens, with greater cellular localization in the outer annulus and in herniated disc specimens. These findings are important because of the key role of MMPs in disc turnover and homeostasis, and previous indications of a role for this MMP in matrix repair and matrix turnover in other tissues. Our data, which show the presence of MMP28 in human disc tissue, suggest that MMP28 may have a potentially important role in ECM modulation in the healthy and degenerating disc.

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Accession: 054274754

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PMID: 20003223

DOI: 10.1186/ar2876


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