Special Issue "Extracellular Matrix Remodeling"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2018).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Nicoletta Gagliano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: tumor invasion; tendon biology; fibrosis; gingival overgrowth; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; collagen turnover; matrix metalloproteinases
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is where cells live. It is composed of collagen and elastic fibers, glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, and by several glycoproteins. In most tissues, fibril-forming collagen type I is the major constituent of ECM.

The function of the ECM goes beyond providing mechanical support to cells and tissues. In fact, cells are embedded into ECM and interact with its components through their surface receptors, such as integrins, so cell-ECM interaction plays a key role in influencing different cell activities such as cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, the ECM sequesters and releases growth factors affecting important cellular pathways. Overall, the ECM strongly influences and affects cell behavior and tissue homeostasis.

Cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions are modulated by matricellular proteins, such as SPARC, tenascin and thrombospondin, characterized as non-structural extracellular modulators of cellular functions. Their activity is primarily related to their de-adhesive properties, but they are also able to interact with intracellular compartments.

ECM is a highly dynamic structural network that continuously undergoes controlled remodeling mediated by matrix-degrading enzymes, the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) under normal conditions.

Quantitative and qualitative deregulation of ECM remodeling and, especially, of collagen turnover, is responsible of the alteration of ECM composition and structure, associated with the development and progression of several pathologic conditions. For example, organ fibrosis is determined by the abnormal accumulation of ECM components, and an increased ECM remodeling is observed in tumor invasion.

The understanding of the diverse biological roles and properties of the ECM components will be helpful to develop new therapeutic tools for disease treatment.

Prof. Nicoletta Gagliano
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fibrosis
  • tumor invasion
  • collagen turnover
  • matrix metalloproteinases
  • matricellular proteins
  • cell-extracellular matrix interaction

Published Papers (24 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Nuclear Progestin Receptor Phosphorylation by Cdk9 Is Required for the Expression of Mmp15, a Protease Indispensable for Ovulation in Medaka
Cells 2019, 8(3), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8030215 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ovulation denotes the discharge of fertilizable oocytes from ovarian follicles. Follicle rupture during ovulation requires extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation at the apex of the follicle. In the teleost medaka, an excellent model for vertebrate ovulation studies, LH-inducible matrix metalloproteinase 15 (Mmp15) plays a [...] Read more.
Ovulation denotes the discharge of fertilizable oocytes from ovarian follicles. Follicle rupture during ovulation requires extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation at the apex of the follicle. In the teleost medaka, an excellent model for vertebrate ovulation studies, LH-inducible matrix metalloproteinase 15 (Mmp15) plays a critical role during rupture. In this study, we found that follicle ovulation was inhibited not only by roscovitine, the cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK) inhibitor, but also by CDK9-inhibitor II, a specific CDK9 inhibitor. Inhibition of follicle ovulation by the inhibitors was accompanied by the suppression of Mmp15 expression in the follicle. In follicles treated with the inhibitors, the formation of the phosphorylated nuclear progestin receptor (Pgr) was inhibited. Roscovitine treatment caused a reduction in the binding of Pgr to the promoter region of mmp15. The expression of Cdk9 and cyclin I (Ccni), and their association in the follicle was demonstrated, suggesting that Cdk9 and Ccni may be involved in the phosphorylation of Pgr in vivo. LH-induced follicular expression of ccni/Ccni was also shown. This study is the first to report the involvement of CDK in ECM degradation during ovulation in a vertebrate species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wound Healing Fluid Reflects the Inflammatory Nature and Aggressiveness of Breast Tumors
Cells 2019, 8(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020181 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Wound healing fluid that originates from breast surgery increases the aggressiveness of cancer cells that remain after the surgery. We determined the effects of the extent of surgery and tumor-driven remodeling of the surrounding microenvironment on the ability of wound-healing to promote breast [...] Read more.
Wound healing fluid that originates from breast surgery increases the aggressiveness of cancer cells that remain after the surgery. We determined the effects of the extent of surgery and tumor-driven remodeling of the surrounding microenvironment on the ability of wound-healing to promote breast cancer progression. In our analysis of a panel of 34 cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors in wound healing fluid, obtained from 27 breast carcinoma patients after surgery, the levels of several small molecules were associated with the extent of cellular damage that was induced by surgery. In addition, the composition of the resulting wound healing fluid was associated with molecular features of the removed tumor. Specifically, IP-10, IL-6, G-CSF, osteopontin, MIP-1a, MIP-1b, and MCP1-MCAF were higher in more aggressive tumors. Altogether, our findings indicate that the release of factors that are induced by removal of the primary tumor and subsequent wound healing is influenced by the extent of damage due to surgery and the reactive stroma that is derived from the continuously evolving network of interactions between neoplastic cells and the microenvironment, based on the molecular characteristics of breast carcinoma cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Matrix and Fibrocyte Accumulation in BALB/c Mouse Lung upon Transient Overexpression of Oncostatin M
Cells 2019, 8(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020126 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The accumulation of extracellular matrix in lung diseases involves numerous factors, including cytokines and chemokines that participate in cell activation in lung tissues and the circulation of fibrocytes that contribute to local fibrotic responses. The transient overexpression of the gp130 cytokine Oncostatin M [...] Read more.
The accumulation of extracellular matrix in lung diseases involves numerous factors, including cytokines and chemokines that participate in cell activation in lung tissues and the circulation of fibrocytes that contribute to local fibrotic responses. The transient overexpression of the gp130 cytokine Oncostatin M can induce extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation in mouse lungs, and here, we assess a role for IL-13 in this activity using gene deficient mice. The endotracheal administration of an adenovirus vector encoding Oncostatin M (AdOSM) caused increases in parenchymal lung collagen accumulation, neutrophil numbers, and CXCL1/KC chemokine elevation in bronchioalveolar lavage fluids. These effects were similar in IL-13-/- mice at day 7; however, the ECM matrix induced by Oncostatin M (OSM) was reduced at day 14 in the IL-13-/- mice. CD45+col1+ fibrocyte numbers were elevated at day 7 due to AdOSM whereas macrophages were not. Day 14 levels of CD45+col1+ fibrocytes were maintained in the wildtype mice treated with AdOSM but were reduced in IL-13-/- mice. The expression of the fibrocyte chemotactic factor CXCL12/SDF-1 was suppressed marginally by AdOSM in vivo and significantly in vitro in mouse lung fibroblast cell cultures. Thus, Oncostatin M can stimulate inflammation in an IL-13-independent manner in BALB/c lungs; however, the ECM remodeling and fibrocyte accumulation is reduced in IL-13 deficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low Molecular Mass Myocardial Hyaluronan in Human Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Cells 2019, 8(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020097 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
During the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart returns to fetal energy metabolism where cells utilize more glucose instead of fatty acids as a source of energy. Metabolism of glucose can increase synthesis of the extracellular glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, which has been shown to [...] Read more.
During the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart returns to fetal energy metabolism where cells utilize more glucose instead of fatty acids as a source of energy. Metabolism of glucose can increase synthesis of the extracellular glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, which has been shown to be involved in the development of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. The aim of this study was to investigate hyaluronan metabolism in cardiac tissue from patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in relation to cardiac growth. NMR and qRT-PCR analysis of human cardiac tissue from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and healthy control hearts showed dysregulated glucose and hyaluronan metabolism in the patients. Gas phase electrophoresis revealed a higher amount of low molecular mass hyaluronan and larger cardiomyocytes in cardiac tissue from patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Histochemistry showed high concentrations of hyaluronan around individual cardiomyocytes in hearts from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients. Experimentally, we could also observe accumulation of low molecular mass hyaluronan in cardiac hypertrophy in a rat model. In conclusion, the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with increased glucose metabolism affected both hyaluronan molecular mass and amount. The process of regulating cardiomyocyte size seems to involve fragmentation of hyaluronan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome-Wide Analysis of Human Chondrocyte Expansion on Synoviocyte Matrix
Cells 2019, 8(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020085 - 24 Jan 2019
Abstract
Human chondrocytes are expanded and used in autologous chondrocyte implantation techniques and are known to rapidly de-differentiate in culture. These chondrocytes, when cultured on tissue culture plastic (TCP), undergo both phenotypical and morphological changes and quickly lose the ability to re-differentiate to produce [...] Read more.
Human chondrocytes are expanded and used in autologous chondrocyte implantation techniques and are known to rapidly de-differentiate in culture. These chondrocytes, when cultured on tissue culture plastic (TCP), undergo both phenotypical and morphological changes and quickly lose the ability to re-differentiate to produce hyaline-like matrix. Growth on synoviocyte-derived extracellular matrix (SDECM) reduces this de-differentiation, allowing for more than twice the number of population doublings (PD) whilst retaining chondrogenic capacity. The goal of this study was to apply RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis to examine the differences between TCP-expanded and SDECM-expanded human chondrocytes. Human chondrocytes from three donors were thawed from primary stocks and cultured on TCP flasks or on SDECM-coated flasks at physiological oxygen tension (5%) for 4 passages. During log expansion, RNA was extracted from the cell layer (70–90% confluence) at passages 1 and 4. Total RNA was column-purified and DNAse-treated before quality control analysis and next-generation RNA sequencing. Significant effects on gene expression were observed due to both culture surface and passage number. These results offer insight into the mechanism of how SDECM provides a more chondrogenesis-preserving environment for cell expansion, the transcriptome-wide changes that occur with culture, and potential mechanisms for further enhancement of chondrogenesis-preserving growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transected Tendon Treated with a New Fibrin Sealant Alone or Associated with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells
Cells 2019, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8010056 - 16 Jan 2019
Abstract
Tissue engineering and cell-based therapy combine techniques that create biocompatible materials for cell survival, which can improve tendon repair. This study seeks to use a new fibrin sealant (FS) derived from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus, a biodegradable three-dimensional scaffolding produced [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering and cell-based therapy combine techniques that create biocompatible materials for cell survival, which can improve tendon repair. This study seeks to use a new fibrin sealant (FS) derived from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus, a biodegradable three-dimensional scaffolding produced from animal components only, associated with adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) for application in tendons injuries, considered a common and serious orthopedic problem. Lewis rats had tendons distributed in five groups: normal (N), transected (T), transected and FS (FS) or ASC (ASC) or with FS and ASC (FS + ASC). The in vivo imaging showed higher quantification of transplanted PKH26-labeled ASC in tendons of FS + ASC compared to ASC on the 14th day after transection. A small number of Iba1 labeled macrophages carrying PKH26 signal, probably due to phagocytosis of dead ASC, were observed in tendons of transected groups. ASC up-regulated the Tenomodulin gene expression in the transection region when compared to N, T and FS groups and the expression of TIMP-2 and Scleraxis genes in relation to the N group. FS group presented a greater organization of collagen fibers, followed by FS + ASC and ASC in comparison to N. Tendons from ASC group presented higher hydroxyproline concentration in relation to N and the transected tendons of T, FS and FS + ASC had a higher amount of collagen I and tenomodulin in comparison to N group. Although no marked differences were observed in the other biomechanical parameters, T group had higher value of maximum load compared to the groups ASC and FS + ASC. In conclusion, the FS kept constant the number of transplanted ASC in the transected region until the 14th day after injury. Our data suggest this FS to be a good scaffold for treatment during tendon repair because it was the most effective one regarding tendon organization recovering, followed by the FS treatment associated with ASC and finally by the transplanted ASC on the 21st day. Further investigations in long-term time points of the tendon repair are needed to analyze if the higher tissue organization found with the FS scaffold will improve the biomechanics of the tendons. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of a Collagen-Based Compound on Morpho-Functional Properties of Cultured Human Tenocytes
Cells 2018, 7(12), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120246 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background: Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is the main reason for recalcitrant lateral hip pain. Gluteus medius and minimus tendinopathy plays a key role in this setting. An injectable medical compound containing collagen type I (MD-Tissue, Guna) has been produced with the aim [...] Read more.
Background: Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is the main reason for recalcitrant lateral hip pain. Gluteus medius and minimus tendinopathy plays a key role in this setting. An injectable medical compound containing collagen type I (MD-Tissue, Guna) has been produced with the aim to counteract the physiological and pathological degeneration of tendons. In this study we aimed at characterizing the effect of this medical compound on cultured human gluteal tenocytes, focusing on the collagen turnover pathways, in order to understand how this medical compound could influence tendon biology and healing. Methods: Tenocytes were obtained from gluteal tendon fragments collected in eight patients without any gluteal tendon pathology undergoing total hip replacement through an anterior approach. Cell proliferation and migration were investigated by growth curves and wound healing assay, respectively. The expression of genes and proteins involved in collagen turnover were analysed by real-time PCR, Slot blot and SDS-zymography. Results: Our data show that tenocytes cultured on MD-Tissue, compared to controls, have increased proliferation rate and migration potential. MD-Tissue induced collagen type I (COL-I) secretion and mRNA levels of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 (TIMP-1). Meanwhile, lysyl hydroxylase 2b and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 and -2, involved, respectively, in collagen maturation and degradation, were not affected. Conclusions: Considered as a whole, our results suggest that MD-Tissue could induce in tenocytes an anabolic phenotype by stimulating tenocyte proliferation and migration and COL-I synthesis, maturation, and secretion, thus favouring tendon repair. In particular, based on its effect on gluteal tenocytes, MD-Tissue could be effective in the discouraging treatment of GTPS. From now a rigorous clinical investigation is desirable to understand the real clinical potentials of this compound. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 and Acid Phosphatase in the Degradation of the Lamina Propria of Eruptive Pathway of Rat Molars
Cells 2018, 7(11), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7110206 - 10 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The comprehension of dental pathogenesis and disorders derived from eruption failure requires a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying normal tooth eruption. As intense remodelling is needed during tooth eruption, we hypothesize that matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and acid phosphatase (ACP) play a [...] Read more.
The comprehension of dental pathogenesis and disorders derived from eruption failure requires a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying normal tooth eruption. As intense remodelling is needed during tooth eruption, we hypothesize that matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and acid phosphatase (ACP) play a role in the eruptive pathway degradation. We evaluated MMP-1-immunoexpression and the collagen content in the lamina propria at different eruptive phases. Immunohistochemistry and ultrastructural cytochemistry for detection of ACP were also performed. In the maxillary sections containing first molars of 9-, 11-, 13-, and 16-day-old rats, the birefringent collagen of eruptive pathway was quantified. MMP-1 and ACP-2 immunohistochemical reactions were performed and the number of MMP-1-immunolabelled cells was computed. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Tukey post-test (p ≤ 0.05). ACP cytochemistry was evaluated in specimens incubated in sodium β-glycerophosphate. In the eruptive pathway of 13- and 16-day-old rats, the number of MMP-1-immunolabelled cells increased concomitantly to reduction of collagen in the lamina propria. Enhanced ACP-2-immunolabelling was observed in the lamina propria of 13- and 16-day-old rats. Fibroblasts and macrophages showed lysosomes and vacuoles containing fragmented material reactive to ACP. MMP-1 degrades extracellular matrix, including collagen fibers, being responsible for the reduction in the collagen content during tooth eruption. The enhanced ACP activity at the mucosal penetration stage indicates that this enzyme plays a role in the degradation of remnant material, which is engulfed by macrophages and fibroblasts of the eruptive pathway. Therefore, enzymatic failure in the eruptive pathway may disturbs tooth eruption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tumor–Stroma Cross-Talk in Human Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Focus on the Effect of the Extracellular Matrix on Tumor Cell Phenotype and Invasive Potential
Cells 2018, 7(10), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7100158 - 05 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) in the tumor microenvironment modulates the cancer cell phenotype, especially in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a tumor characterized by an intense desmoplastic reaction. Because the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process that provides cancer cells with a metastatic phenotype, plays [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) in the tumor microenvironment modulates the cancer cell phenotype, especially in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a tumor characterized by an intense desmoplastic reaction. Because the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process that provides cancer cells with a metastatic phenotype, plays an important role in PDAC progression, the authors aimed to explore in vitro the interactions between human PDAC cells and ECM components of the PDAC microenvironment, focusing on the expression of EMT markers and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that are able to digest the basement membrane during tumor invasion. EMT markers and the invasive potential of HPAF-II, HPAC, and PL45 cells grown on different ECM substrates (fibronectin, laminin, and collagen) were analyzed. While N-cadherin, αSMA, and type I collagen were not significantly affected by ECM components, the E-cadherin/β-catenin complex was highly expressed in all the experimental conditions, and E-cadherin was upregulated by collagen in PL45 cells. Cell migration was unaffected by fibronectin and delayed by laminin. In contrast, collagen significantly stimulated cell migration and the secretion of MMPs. This study’s results showed that ECM components impacted cell migration and invasive potential differently. Collagen exerted a more evident effect, providing new insights into the understanding of the intricate interplay between ECM molecules and cancer cells, in order to find novel therapeutic targets for PDAC treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Injured Achilles Tendons Treated with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Transplantation and GDF-5
Cells 2018, 7(9), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7090127 - 31 Aug 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Tendon injuries represent a clinical challenge in regenerative medicine because their natural repair process is complex and inefficient. The high incidence of tendon injuries is frequently associated with sports practice, aging, tendinopathies, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and the use of corticosteroids. The growing interest [...] Read more.
Tendon injuries represent a clinical challenge in regenerative medicine because their natural repair process is complex and inefficient. The high incidence of tendon injuries is frequently associated with sports practice, aging, tendinopathies, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and the use of corticosteroids. The growing interest of scientists in using adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSC) in repair processes seems to be mostly due to their paracrine and immunomodulatory effects in stimulating specific cellular events. ADMSC activity can be influenced by GDF-5, which has been successfully used to drive tenogenic differentiation of ADMSC in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that the application of ADMSC in isolation or in association with GDF-5 could improve Achilles tendon repair through the regulation of important remodeling genes expression. Lewis rats had tendons distributed in four groups: Transected (T), transected and treated with ADMSC (ASC) or GDF-5 (GDF5), or with both (ASC+GDF5). In the characterization of cells before application, ADMSC expressed the positive surface markers, CD90 (90%) and CD105 (95%), and the negative marker, CD45 (7%). ADMSC were also differentiated in chondrocytes, osteoblast, and adipocytes. On the 14th day after the tendon injury, GFP-ADMSC were observed in the transected region of tendons in the ASC and ASC+GDF5 groups, and exhibited and/or stimulated a similar genes expression profile when compared to the in vitro assay. ADMSC up-regulated Lox, Dcn, and Tgfb1 genes expression in comparison to T and ASC+GDF5 groups, which contributed to a lower proteoglycans arrangement, and to a higher collagen fiber organization and tendon biomechanics in the ASC group. The application of ADMSC in association with GDF-5 down-regulated Dcn, Gdf5, Lox, Tgfb1, Mmp2, and Timp2 genes expression, which contributed to a lower hydroxyproline concentration, lower collagen fiber organization, and to an improvement of the rats’ gait 24 h after the injury. In conclusion, although the literature describes the benefic effect of GDF-5 for the tendon healing process, our results show that its application, isolated or associated with ADMSC, cannot improve the repair process of partial transected tendons, indicating the higher effectiveness of the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons. Our results show that the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons was more effective in relation to its association with GDF-5. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of NF-κB and AP-1 with MMP-9 Overexpression in 2-Chloroethanol Exposed Rat Astrocytes
Cells 2018, 7(8), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7080096 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Subacute poisoning of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCE) has become a serious occupational problem in China, and brain edema is its main pathological consequence, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. As the metabolite of 1,2-DCE, 2-chloroethanol (2-CE) is more reactive, and might play an [...] Read more.
Subacute poisoning of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCE) has become a serious occupational problem in China, and brain edema is its main pathological consequence, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. As the metabolite of 1,2-DCE, 2-chloroethanol (2-CE) is more reactive, and might play an important role in the toxic effects of 1,2-DCE. In our previous studies, we found that matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9) expression was enhanced in mouse brains upon treatment with 1,2-DCE, and in rat astrocytes exposed to 2-CE. In the present study, we analyzed the association of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) with MMP-9 overexpression in astrocytes treated with 2-CE. MMP-9, p65, c-Jun, and c-Fos were significantly upregulated by 2-CE treatment, which also enhanced phosphorylation of c-Jun, c-Fos and inhibitor of κBα (IκBα), and nuclear translocation of p65. Furthermore, inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation and AP-1 activity with the specific inhibitors could attenuate MMP-9 overexpression in the cells. On the other hand, inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) signaling pathway suppressed the activation of both NF-κB and AP-1 in 2-CE-treated astrocytes. In conclusion, MMP-9 overexpression induced by 2-CE in astrocytes could be mediated at least in part through the p38 signaling pathway via activation of both NF-κB and AP-1. This study might provide novel clues for clarifying the mechanisms underlying 1,2-DCE associated cerebral edema. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
New Insights into the Occurrence of Matrix Metalloproteases -2 and -9 in a Cohort of Breast Cancer Patients and Proteomic Correlations
Cells 2018, 7(8), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7080089 - 28 Jul 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of well-known enzymes which operate prevalently in the extracellular domain, where they fulfil the function of remodeling the extracellular matrix (ECM). Within the 26 family members, encoded by 24 genes in humans, MMP-2 and MMP-9 have been [...] Read more.
Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of well-known enzymes which operate prevalently in the extracellular domain, where they fulfil the function of remodeling the extracellular matrix (ECM). Within the 26 family members, encoded by 24 genes in humans, MMP-2 and MMP-9 have been regarded as primarily responsible for the basement membrane and peri-cellular ECM rearrangement. In cases of infiltrating carcinomas, which arise from the epithelial tissues of a gland or of an internal organ, a marked alteration of the expression and the activity levels of both MMPs is known to occur. The present investigation represents the continuation and upgrading of our previous studies, now focusing on the occurrence and intensity levels of MMP-2 and -9 and their proteomic correlations in a cohort of 80 breast cancer surgical tissues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Action of the Metalloproteinases in Gonadal Remodeling during Sex Reversal in the Sequential Hermaphroditism of the Teleostei Fish Synbranchus marmoratus (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae)
Cells 2018, 7(5), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7050034 - 24 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Teleostei present great plasticity regarding sex change. During sex reversal, the whole gonad including the germinal epithelium undergoes significant changes, remodeling, and neoformation. However, there is no information on the changes that occur within the interstitial compartment. Considering the lack of information, especially [...] Read more.
Teleostei present great plasticity regarding sex change. During sex reversal, the whole gonad including the germinal epithelium undergoes significant changes, remodeling, and neoformation. However, there is no information on the changes that occur within the interstitial compartment. Considering the lack of information, especially on the role played by metalloproteinases (MMPs) in fish gonadal remodeling, the aim of this study was to evaluate the action of MMPs on gonads of sex reversed females of Synbranchus marmoratus, a fresh water protogynic diandric fish. Gonads were processed for light microscopy and blood samples were used for the determination of plasma sex steroid levels. During sex reversal, degeneration of the ovaries occurred and were gradually replaced by the germinal tissue of the male. The action of the MMPs induces significant changes in the interstitial compartment, allowing the reorganization of germinal epithelium. Leydig cells also showed an important role in female to male reversion. The gonadal transition coincides with changes in circulating sex steroid levels throughout sex reversion. The action of the MMPs, in the gonadal remodeling, especially on the basement membrane, is essential for the establishment of a new functional germinal epithelium. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Extracellular Matrix Component Remodeling in Respiratory Diseases: What Has Been Found in Clinical and Experimental Studies?
Cells 2019, 8(4), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8040342 - 11 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the lungs are associated with the progression of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Experimental and clinical studies have revealed that structural changes in ECM components [...] Read more.
Changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the lungs are associated with the progression of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Experimental and clinical studies have revealed that structural changes in ECM components occur under chronic inflammatory conditions, and these changes are associated with impaired lung function. In bronchial asthma, elastic and collagen fiber remodeling, mostly in the airway walls, is associated with an increase in mucus secretion, leading to airway hyperreactivity. In COPD, changes in collagen subtypes I and III and elastin, interfere with the mechanical properties of the lungs, and are believed to play a pivotal role in decreased lung elasticity, during emphysema progression. In ARDS, interstitial edema is often accompanied by excessive deposition of fibronectin and collagen subtypes I and III, which can lead to respiratory failure in the intensive care unit. This review uses experimental models and human studies to describe how inflammatory conditions and ECM remodeling contribute to the loss of lung function in these respiratory diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cysteine Cathepsins and Their Extracellular Roles: Shaping the Microenvironment
Cells 2019, 8(3), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8030264 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
For a long time, cysteine cathepsins were considered primarily as proteases crucial for nonspecific bulk proteolysis in the endolysosomal system. However, this view has dramatically changed, and cathepsins are now considered key players in many important physiological processes, including in diseases like cancer, [...] Read more.
For a long time, cysteine cathepsins were considered primarily as proteases crucial for nonspecific bulk proteolysis in the endolysosomal system. However, this view has dramatically changed, and cathepsins are now considered key players in many important physiological processes, including in diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and various inflammatory diseases. Cathepsins are emerging as important players in the extracellular space, and the paradigm is shifting from the degrading enzymes to the enzymes that can also specifically modify extracellular proteins. In pathological conditions, the activity of cathepsins is often dysregulated, resulting in their overexpression and secretion into the extracellular space. This is typically observed in cancer and inflammation, and cathepsins are therefore considered valuable diagnostic and therapeutic targets. In particular, the investigation of limited proteolysis by cathepsins in the extracellular space is opening numerous possibilities for future break-through discoveries. In this review, we highlight the most important findings that establish cysteine cathepsins as important players in the extracellular space and discuss their roles that reach beyond processing and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. In addition, we discuss the recent developments in cathepsin research and the new possibilities that are opening in translational medicine. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Behavior of Metalloproteinases in Adipose Tissue, Liver and Arterial Wall: An Update of Extracellular Matrix Remodeling
Cells 2019, 8(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020158 - 14 Feb 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is required for many physiological and pathological processes. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are endopeptidases which are able to degrade different components of the ECM and nucleus matrix and to cleave numerous non-ECM proteins. Among pathological processes, MMPs are involved in adipose [...] Read more.
Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is required for many physiological and pathological processes. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are endopeptidases which are able to degrade different components of the ECM and nucleus matrix and to cleave numerous non-ECM proteins. Among pathological processes, MMPs are involved in adipose tissue expansion, liver fibrosis, and atherosclerotic plaque development and vulnerability. The expression and the activity of these enzymes are regulated by different hormones and growth factors, such as insulin, leptin, and adiponectin. The controversial results reported up to this moment regarding MMPs behavior in ECM biology could be consequence of the different expression patterns among species and the stage of the studied pathology. The aim of the present review was to update the knowledge of the role of MMPs and its inhibitors in ECM remodeling in high incidence pathologies such as obesity, liver fibrosis, and cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Tumor Extracellular Matrix Remodeling: New Perspectives as a Circulating Tool in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Solid Tumors
Cells 2019, 8(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020081 - 23 Jan 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that cancer cells and the local microenvironment are crucial in the development and progression of tumors. One of the major components of the tumor microenvironment is the extracellular matrix (ECM), which comprises a complex mixture [...] Read more.
In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that cancer cells and the local microenvironment are crucial in the development and progression of tumors. One of the major components of the tumor microenvironment is the extracellular matrix (ECM), which comprises a complex mixture of components, including proteins, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and polysaccharides. In addition to providing structural and biochemical support to tumor tissue, the ECM undergoes remodeling that alters the biochemical and mechanical properties of the tumor microenvironment and contributes to tumor progression and resistance to therapy. A novel concept has emerged, in which tumor-driven ECM remodeling affects the release of ECM components into peripheral blood, the levels of which are potential diagnostic or prognostic markers for tumors. This review discusses the most recent evidence on ECM remodeling-derived signals that are detectable in the bloodstream, as new early diagnostic and risk prediction tools for the most frequent solid cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Tendon Remodeling in Response to Resistance Training, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and Aging
Cells 2018, 7(12), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120251 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Exercise training (ET), anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), and aging are potential factors that affect tendon homeostasis, particularly extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. The goal of this review is to aggregate findings regarding the effects of resistance training (RT), AAS, and aging on tendon homeostasis. [...] Read more.
Exercise training (ET), anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), and aging are potential factors that affect tendon homeostasis, particularly extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. The goal of this review is to aggregate findings regarding the effects of resistance training (RT), AAS, and aging on tendon homeostasis. Data were gathered from our studies regarding the impact of RT, AAS, and aging on the calcaneal tendon (CT) of rats. We demonstrated a series of detrimental effects of AAS and aging on functional and biomechanical parameters, including the volume density of blood vessel cells, adipose tissue cells, tendon calcification, collagen content, the regulation of the major proteins related to the metabolic/development processes of tendons, and ECM remodeling. Conversely, RT seems to mitigate age-related tendon dysfunction. Our results suggest that AAS combined with high-intensity RT exert harmful effects on ECM remodeling, and also instigate molecular and biomechanical adaptations in the CT. Moreover, we provide further information regarding the harmful effects of AAS on tendons at a transcriptional level, and demonstrate the beneficial effects of RT against the age-induced tendon adaptations of rats. Our studies might contribute in terms of clinical approaches in favor of the benefits of ET against tendinopathy conditions, and provide a warning on the harmful effects of the misuse of AAS on tendon development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Heparanase: A Multitasking Protein Involved in Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Remodeling and Intracellular Events
Cells 2018, 7(12), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120236 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Heparanase (HPSE) has been defined as a multitasking protein that exhibits a peculiar enzymatic activity towards HS chains but which simultaneously performs other non-enzymatic functions. Through its enzymatic activity, HPSE catalyzes the cutting of the side chains of heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans, thus [...] Read more.
Heparanase (HPSE) has been defined as a multitasking protein that exhibits a peculiar enzymatic activity towards HS chains but which simultaneously performs other non-enzymatic functions. Through its enzymatic activity, HPSE catalyzes the cutting of the side chains of heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans, thus contributing to the remodeling of the extracellular matrix and of the basal membranes. Furthermore, thanks to this activity, HPSE also promotes the release and diffusion of various HS-linked molecules like growth factors, cytokines and enzymes. In addition to being an enzyme, HPSE has been shown to possess the ability to trigger different signaling pathways by interacting with transmembrane proteins. In normal tissue and in physiological conditions, HPSE exhibits only low levels of expression restricted only to keratinocytes, trophoblast, platelets and mast cells and leukocytes. On the contrary, in pathological conditions, such as in tumor progression and metastasis, inflammation and fibrosis, it is overexpressed. With this brief review, we intend to provide an update on the current knowledge about the different role of HPSE protein exerted by its enzymatic and non-enzymatic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Multifaceted Interweaving Between Extracellular Matrix, Insulin Resistance, and Skeletal Muscle
Cells 2018, 7(10), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7100148 - 22 Sep 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The skeletal muscle provides movement and support to the skeleton, controls body temperature, and regulates the glucose level within the body. This is the core tissue of insulin-mediated glucose uptake via glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4). The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides integrity and [...] Read more.
The skeletal muscle provides movement and support to the skeleton, controls body temperature, and regulates the glucose level within the body. This is the core tissue of insulin-mediated glucose uptake via glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4). The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides integrity and biochemical signals and plays an important role in myogenesis. In addition, it undergoes remodeling upon injury and/or repair, which is also related to insulin resistance (IR), a major cause of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Altered signaling of integrin and ECM remodeling in diet-induced obesity is associated with IR. This review highlights the interweaving relationship between the ECM, IR, and skeletal muscle. In addition, the importance of the ECM in muscle integrity as well as cellular functions is explored. IR and skeletal muscle ECM remodeling has been discussed in clinical and nonclinical aspects. Furthermore, this review considers the role of ECM glycation and its effects on skeletal muscle homeostasis, concentrating on advanced glycation end products (AGEs) as an important risk factor for the development of IR. Understanding this complex interplay between the ECM, muscle, and IR may improve knowledge and help develop new ideas for novel therapeutics for several IR-associated myopathies and diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Agonist-Biased Signaling via Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Promotes Extracellular Matrix Remodeling
Cells 2018, 7(9), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7090117 - 26 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly dynamic noncellular structure that is crucial for maintaining tissue architecture and homeostasis. The dynamic nature of the ECM undergoes constant remodeling in response to stressors, tissue needs, and biochemical signals that are mediated primarily by matrix [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly dynamic noncellular structure that is crucial for maintaining tissue architecture and homeostasis. The dynamic nature of the ECM undergoes constant remodeling in response to stressors, tissue needs, and biochemical signals that are mediated primarily by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which work to degrade and build up the ECM. Research on MMP-9 has demonstrated that this proteinase exists on the cell surface of many cell types in complex with G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) or Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Through a novel yet ubiquitous signaling platform, MMP-9 is found to play a crucial role not only in the direct remodeling of the ECM but also in the transactivation of associated receptors to mediate and recruit additional remodeling proteins. Here, we summarize the role of MMP-9 as it exists in a tripartite complex on the cell surface and discuss how its association with each of the TrkA receptor, Toll-like receptors, epidermal growth factor receptor, and the insulin receptor contributes to various aspects of ECM remodeling. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs and Osteoarthritis
Cells 2018, 7(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7080092 - 01 Aug 2018
Cited by 21
Abstract
An imbalance in gene expressional events skewing chondrocyte anabolic and catabolic pathways toward the latter causes an aberrant turnover and loss of extracellular matrix proteins in osteoarthritic (OA) articular cartilage. Thus, catabolism results in the elevated loss of extracellular matrix proteins. There is [...] Read more.
An imbalance in gene expressional events skewing chondrocyte anabolic and catabolic pathways toward the latter causes an aberrant turnover and loss of extracellular matrix proteins in osteoarthritic (OA) articular cartilage. Thus, catabolism results in the elevated loss of extracellular matrix proteins. There is also evidence of an increase in the frequency of chondrocyte apoptosis that compromises the capacity of articular cartilage to undergo repair. Although much of the fundamental OA studies over the past 20 years identified and characterized many genes relevant to pro-inflammatory cytokines, apoptosis, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)/a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motif (ADAMTS), more recent studies focused on epigenetic mechanisms and the associated role of microRNAs (miRs) in regulating gene expression in OA cartilage. Thus, several miRs were identified as regulators of chondrocyte signaling pathways, apoptosis, and proteinase gene expression. For example, the reduced expression of miR-146a was found to be coupled to reduced type II collagen (COL2) in OA cartilage, whereas MMP-13 levels were increased, suggesting an association between MMP-13 gene expression and COL2A1 gene expression. Results of these studies imply that microRNAs could become useful in the search for diagnostic biomarkers, as well as providing novel therapeutic targets for intervention in OA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Coagulation, Microenvironment and Liver Fibrosis
Cells 2018, 7(8), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7080085 - 24 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Fibrosis is the main consequence of any kind of chronic liver damage. Coagulation and thrombin generation are crucial in the physiological response to tissue injury; however, the inappropriate and uncontrolled activation of coagulation cascade may lead to fibrosis development due to the involvement [...] Read more.
Fibrosis is the main consequence of any kind of chronic liver damage. Coagulation and thrombin generation are crucial in the physiological response to tissue injury; however, the inappropriate and uncontrolled activation of coagulation cascade may lead to fibrosis development due to the involvement of several cellular types and biochemical pathways in response to thrombin generation. In the liver, hepatic stellate cells and sinusoidal endothelial cells orchestrate fibrogenic response to chronic damage. Thrombin interacts with these cytotypes mainly through protease-activated receptors (PARs), which are expressed by endothelium, platelets and hepatic stellate cells. This review focuses on the impact of coagulation in liver fibrogenesis, describes receptors and pathways involved and explores the potential antifibrotic properties of drugs active in hemostasis in studies with cells, animal models of liver damage and humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessBrief Report
Sub-Cellular Localization of Metalloproteinases in Megakaryocytes
Cells 2018, 7(7), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7070080 - 20 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling) Printed Edition available
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