MMP7 shedding of syndecan-1 facilitates re-epithelialization by affecting alpha(2)beta(1) integrin activation

PLoS One. 2009 Aug 10;4(8):e6565. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006565.


Background: Lung injury promotes the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7, matrilysin), which is required for neutrophil recruitment and re-epithelialization. MMP7 governs the lung inflammatory response through the shedding of syndecan-1. Because inflammation and repair are related events, we evaluated the role of syndecan-1 shedding in lung re-epithelialization.

Methodology/principal finding: Epithelial injury induced syndecan-1 shedding from wild-type epithelium but not from Mmp7(-/-) mice in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, cell migration and wound closure was enhanced by MMP7 shedding of syndecan-1. Additionally, we found that syndecan-1 augmented cell adhesion to collagen by controlling the affinity state of the alpha(2)beta(1) integrin.

Conclusion/significance: MMP7 shedding of syndecan-1 facilitates wound closure by causing the alpha(2)beta(1) integrin to assume a less active conformation thereby removing restrictions to migration. MMP7 acts in the lungs to regulate inflammation and repair, and our data now show that both these functions are controlled through the shedding of syndecan-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Integrin alpha2beta1 / metabolism*
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / enzymology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Syndecan-1 / metabolism*
  • Syndecan-1 / physiology


  • Integrin alpha2beta1
  • Syndecan-1
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7