MMP-1 activation by serine proteases and MMP-10 induces human capillary tubular network collapse and regression in 3D collagen matrices. Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous work has shown that endothelial cell (EC)-derived matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) regulate regression of capillary tubes in vitro in a plasmin- and MMP-1 dependent manner. Here we report that a number of serine proteases can activate MMP-1 and cause capillary tube regression; namely plasma kallikrein, trypsin, neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G, tryptase and chymase. Plasma prekallikrein failed to induce regression without coactivators such as high molecular weight kininogen (HMWK) or coagulation Factor XII. The addition of trypsin, the neutrophil serine proteases (neutrophil elastase and cathepsin G) and the mast cell serine proteases (tryptase and chymase) each caused MMP-1 activation and collagen type I proteolysis, capillary tubular network collapse, regression and EC apoptosis. Capillary tube collapse is accompanied by collagen gel contraction, which is strongly related to the wound contraction that occurs during regression of granulation tissue in vivo. We also report that proMMP-10 protein expression is markedly induced in ECs undergoing capillary tube morphogenesis. Addition of each of the serine proteases described above led to activation of proMMP-10, which also correlated with MMP-1 activation and capillary tube regression. Treatment of ECs with MMP-1 or MMP-10 siRNA markedly delayed capillary tube regression, whereas gelatinase A (MMP-2), gelatinase B (MMP-9) and stromelysin-1 (MMP-3) siRNA-treated cells behaved in a similar manner to controls and regressed normally. Increased expression of MMP-1 or MMP-10 in ECs using recombinant adenoviral delivery markedly accelerated serine protease-induced capillary tube regression. ECs expressing increased levels of MMP-10 activated MMP-1 to a greater degree than control ECs. Thus, MMP-10-induced activation of MMP-1 correlated with tube regression and gel contraction. In summary, our work demonstrates that MMP-1 zymogen activation is mediated by multiple serine proteases and MMP-10, and that these events are central to EC-mediated collagen degradation and capillary tube regression in 3D collagen matrices.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Sci

altmetric score

  • 9

author list (cited authors)

  • Saunders, W. B., Bayless, K. J., & Davis, G. E.

citation count

  • 151

complete list of authors

  • Saunders, W Brian||Bayless, Kayla J||Davis, George E

publication date

  • May 2005