Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases that play essential roles as the mediator of matrix degradation and remodeling during organogenesis, wound healing and angiogenesis. Although MMPs were originally identified as matrixin proteases that act in the extracellular matrix, more recent research has identified members of the MMP family in unusual locations within the cells, exerting distinct functions in addition to their established role as extracellular proteases. During thrombopoiesis, megakaryocytes (Mks) sort MMPs to nascent platelets through pseudopodial-like structure known as proplatelets. Previous studies identified gelatinases, MMP-2 and MMP-9, as a novel regulator system of Mks and the platelet function. In this work we have exploited a sensitive immunoassay to detect and quantify multiple MMP proteins and their localization, in conditioned medium and sub-cellular fractions of primary human CD34+
-derived Mks. We provide evidence that Mks express other MMPs in addition to gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, peculiar isoforms of MMP-9 and MMPs with a novel nuclear compartmentalization.
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