Sirt1, a negative regulator of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in diabetic retinopathy

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jun 3;55(9):5653-60. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14383.


Purpose: In the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 damages retinal mitochondria, activating the apoptotic machinery. Transcription of MMP-9 is regulated by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), and the activation of NF-κB is modulated by the acetylation of its p65 subunit. Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), a deacetylase, plays an important role in the acetylation-deacetylation of p65. The goal of this study is to investigate the role of Sirt1 in the activation of MMP-9 in diabetic retinopathy.

Methods: The effect of hyperglycemia and Sirt1 activator, resveratrol, on acetylation of p65 and its binding at MMP-9 promoter-and mitochondrial damage and apoptosis-was assessed in the retinal endothelial cells. Role of oxidative stress in the regulation of Sirt1 was evaluated in the cells incubated in H2O2. The results were confirmed in the retina from diabetic mice with Sod2 or MMP-9 gene manipulated.

Results: High glucose decreased Sirt1 activity and increased p65 acetylation, and resveratrol prevented increase in p65 acetylation, binding of p65 at MMP-9 promoter and MMP-9 activation, mitochondria damage, and cell apoptosis. While Sirt1 was decreased by H2O2, MMP-9 was significantly increased. Retina from wild-type diabetic mice presented similar decrease in Sirt1, and diabetic mice with Sod2 overexpression or MMP-9 deletion had normal retinal Sirt1. Retinal microvasculature from human donors with established diabetic retinopathy also had decreased Sirt1.

Conclusions: Thus, in diabetes, increase in oxidative stress inhibits Sirt1 and p65 is hyperacetylated, increasing the binding of p65 at MMP-9 promoter. Prevention of Sirt1 inhibition, via modulating acetylation of p65, should protect activation of MMP-9 and inhibit the development of diabetic retinopathy.

Keywords: MMP-9; NF-kB; Sirt1; diabetic retinopathy; posttranslational modification.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytochromes b / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / chemistry
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Resveratrol
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Sirtuin 1 / physiology*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Stilbenes
  • Cytochromes b
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Sirtuin 1
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • Resveratrol