In vitro cultured endothelial cells forming a continuous monolayer establish stable cell-cell contacts and acquire a "resting" phenotype; on the other hand, when growing in sparse conditions these cells acquire a migratory phenotype and invade the empty area of the culture. Culturing cells in different conditions, we compared expression and clustering of proteolytic enzymes in cells having migratory versus stationary behavior. In order to observe resting and migrating cells in the same microscopic field, a continuous cell monolayer was wounded. Increased expression of proteolytic enzymes was evident in cell membranes of migrating cells especially at sprouting sites and in shed membrane vesicles. Gelatin zymography and western blotting analyses confirmed that in migrating cells, expression of membrane-bound and of vesicle-associated proteolytic enzymes are increased. The enzymes concerned include MMP-2, MMP-9, MT1-MMP, seprase, DPP4 (DiPeptidyl Peptidase 4) and uPA. Shed membrane vesicles were shown to exert degradative activity on ECM components and produce substrates facilitating cell migration. Vesicles shed by migrating cells degraded ECM components at an increased rate; as a result their effect on cell migration was amplified. Inhibiting either Matrix Metallo Proteases (MMPs) or Serine Integral Membrane Peptidases (SIMPs) caused a decrease in the stimulatory effect of vesicles, inhibiting the spontaneous migratory activity of cells; a similar result was also obtained when a monoclonal antibody acting on DPP4 was tested. We conclude that proteolytic enzymes have a synergistic stimulatory effect on cell migration and that their clustering probably facilitates the proteolytic activation cascades needed to produce maximal degradative activity on cell substrates during the angiogenic process.
|Numero di pagine||20|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2016|
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