To investigate the pathophysiological role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in the skin, we analyzed MMP-9 expression from human keratinocytes in culture. MMP-9 and the terminal differentiation marker involucrin were co-localized in the same keratinocytes with a high concentration of Ca2+, a potent stimulator of differentiation. We identified the novel KRE-M9 element, further downstream to the previously reported TPA responsive element in the MMP-9 promoter, and both of these two element were shown to be important for MMP-9 transcription and Ca2+ induction. The concomitant upregulation of MMP-9 and involucrin transcripts was probably due to the very similar gene regulatory elements, KRE-M9 and KRE-4, in their respective promoters. These results indicate a novel mechanism of transcriptional regulation for MMP-9 in the process of keratinization, implying the probable association of apoptosis and differentiation of keratinocytes in epidermal skin tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology