alpha v beta 6 Integrin upregulates matrix metalloproteinase 9 and promotes migration of normal oral keratinocytes

J Invest Dermatol. 2001 Jun;116(6):898-904. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2001.01352.x.


The integrin alpha v beta 6 is a fibronectin receptor that is undetectable on normal keratinocytes in situ, but is increased significantly in wound healing and in culture-established keratinocytes, suggesting that it may promote changes associated with cell motility. Using normal human oral keratinocytes we have shown that cultured cells express relatively high levels of alpha v beta 6 and this integrin has a functional role in both cell adhesion and migration towards fibronectin. We provide experimental evidence that the increased expression of alpha v beta 6 by normal human oral keratinocytes results in coordinate changes, which promote a more migratory phenotype. Thus increased expression of alpha v beta 6 results in a fibronectin-dependent increase in pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9, matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity increases normal human oral keratinocyte migration, and this may be further dependent on plasmin activation. The results suggest a key role for alpha v beta 6 in these processes and indicate a coordinated link between alpha v beta 6 expression and upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase 9. It appears that alpha v beta 6 may function in normal human oral keratinocyte migration through matrix-metalloproteinase-9-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibronectins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Integrins / analysis
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Keratinocytes / enzymology
  • Keratinocytes / physiology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / physiology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / biosynthesis*
  • Mouth Mucosa / cytology
  • Receptors, Vitronectin*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Fibronectins
  • Integrins
  • Receptors, Vitronectin
  • integrin alphavbeta1
  • integrin alphavbeta6
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9