Elevated levels of the IGF-binding protein protease MMP-1 in asthmatic airway smooth muscle.


We have previously demonstrated that the asthma-associated proinflammatory eicosanoid leukotriene D4 (LTD4) is co-mitogenic with insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in airway smooth-muscle (ASM) cells in vitro. This synergistic effect of LTD4 and IGF on ASM cell growth involves proteolysis of ASM-produced IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), which are cell growth-inhibitory proteins. We also identified this IGFBP protease to be the matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), and showed that this enzyme had a significant role in modulating IGF action in ASM cells. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that ASM hyperplasia in vivo involves induction of MMP-1 leading to IGFBP proteolysis. We detected the presence of MMP-1 and measured its levels in human airway tissue sections prepared from nonasthmatic and asthmatic subjects. Six nonasthmatic and six asthmatic airway tissue samples were analyzed for immunoreactive MMP-1 through an immunohistochemical detection method. Both the bronchial and tracheal smooth-muscle cells from different regions of the same sample were examined and documented. The immunostaining for MMP-1 was significantly elevated in both the bronchial and tracheal smooth-muscle cells of the airway sections from asthmatic samples relative to that of the nonasthmatic samples. The differences in levels of MMP-1, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, and IGFBP proteolytic activity were quantified using densitometric analyses of the ASM tissue extracts that were separated on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The MMP-1 levels in the asthmatic airway tissue extracts were 12-fold higher than those found in control samples. In addition, IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3, which we have previously demonstrated to be proteolytic substrates of MMP-1, were found to be cleaved in asthmatic airway tissue extracts. Furthermore, the asthmatic airway extracts contained IGFBP proteolytic activity that was shown by immunodepletion studies to be due to MMP-1. These observations demonstrate that MMP-1 may play a significant role in inducing ASM hyperplasia and airway obstruction in asthma by modulating the IGF axis.

Extracted Key Phrases

9 Figures and Tables

Citations per Year

265 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 265 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Rajah1999ElevatedLO, title={Elevated levels of the IGF-binding protein protease MMP-1 in asthmatic airway smooth muscle.}, author={Roopmathy Rajah and R V Nachajon and Margaret H . Collins and Hakon Hakonarson and Michael M. Grunstein and Pinchas Cohen}, journal={American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology}, year={1999}, volume={20 2}, pages={199-208} }