Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a critical role in tissue remodeling under both physiological and pathological conditions. Although MMP-9 expression is low in most cells and is tightly controlled, the mechanism of its regulation is poorly understood. We utilized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) that were nullizygous for the catalytic α subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is a key regulator of energy homeostasis, to identify AMPK as a suppressor of MMP-9 expression. Total AMPKα deletion significantly elevated MMP-9 expression compared with wild-type (WT) MEFs, whereas single knock-out of the isoforms AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 caused minimal change in the level of MMP-9 expression. The suppressive role of AMPK on MMP-9 expression was mediated through both its activity and presence. The AMPK activators 5-amino-4-imidazole carboxamide riboside and A769662 suppressed MMP-9 expression in WT MEFs, and AMPK inhibition by the overexpression of dominant negative (DN) AMPKα elevated MMP-9 expression. However, in AMPKα-/- MEFs transduced with DN AMPKα, MMP-9 expression was suppressed. AMPKα-/- MEFs showed increased phosphorylation of IκBα, expression of IκBα mRNA, nuclear localization of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and DNA-binding activity of NF-κB compared with WT. Consistently, selective NF-κB inhibitors BMS345541 and SM7368 decreased MMP-9 expression in AMPKα-/- MEFs. Overall, our results suggest that both AMPKα isoforms suppress MMP-9 expression and that both the activity and presence of AMPKα contribute to its function as a regulator of MMP-9 expression by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology