2003 CLIN EXP METASTASIS. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 2003 ;20 (8):675-683
Dr. M. Serres, Lab. Peau Humaine et Immunite, Unite INSERM 346, Hopital E. Herriot, 69437 Lyon EML: [email protected]

Comparative studies on the secretion and activation of MMPs in two reconstructed human skin models using HaCaT- and HaCaT-ras-transfected cell lines

Matrix metalloproteinases play an important role in tissue regeneration, wound healing and tumor invasion. Our previous studies have shown a higher motility of HaCaT-ras-transfected cells compared with HaCaT or normal human keratinocytes (NHK) in correlation with a higher secretion of MMP-2 (72 kDa) or MMP-9 (92 kDa), according to the medium used for cell cultures. Presently, the expression and activity of MMPs were investigated in two reconstructed skin models, using a dead de-epidermized dermis (DED) or a dermal substitute including living fibroblasts. In all experiments, MMP-9 was essentially secreted by NHK and to a greater extent by HaCaT cells. Its active form (86 kDa) was only detected in both reconstructed skin models according to keratinocyte differentiation. MMP-2 was mainly secreted by living fibroblasts included in the dermal substitute skin model. In this case, its activation was up-regulated when HaCaT cell lines were seeded onto the dermal substitute according to their culture at air/liquid interface as shown for MMP-9. The collagenase MMP-1 and stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), susceptible to activate pro-MMP-2 and -9, respectively, were detected in their inactive form by ELISA. MMP-1 was expressed in both models but MMP-3 required the presence of living fibroblasts. Their activities were not detected using specific fluorogenic substrates. In the skin equivalent model using HaCaT, the extensive secretion and activation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 could explain the defect observed in basal membrane reconstruction, suggesting a direct interaction of HaCaT with fibroblasts.