Matrix metalloproteinase-7 coordinates airway epithelial injury response and differentiation of ciliated cells

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Mar;48(3):390-6. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0083OC. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7) expression is quickly up-regulated after injury, and functions to regulate wound repair and various mucosal immune processes. We evaluated the global transcriptional response of airway epithelial cells from wild-type and Mmp7-null mice cultured at an air-liquid interface. The analysis of differentially expressed genes between genotypes after injury revealed an enrichment of functional categories associated with inflammation, cilia, and differentiation. Because these analyses suggested that MMP7 regulated ciliated cell formation, we evaluated the recovery of the airway epithelium in wild-type and Mmp7-null mice in vivo after naphthalene injury, which revealed augmented ciliated cell formation in the absence of MMP7. Moreover, in vitro studies evaluating cell differentiation in air-liquid interface cultures also showed faster ciliated cell production under Mmp7-null conditions compared with wild-type conditions. These studies identified a new role for MMP7 in attenuating ciliated cell differentiation during wound repair.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genotype
  • Lung Injury / enzymology
  • Lung Injury / genetics
  • Lung Injury / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Respiratory Mucosa / enzymology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / injuries*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / innervation*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / physiopathology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptome
  • Up-Regulation
  • Wound Healing / genetics*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • MMP7 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7