American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
[en] Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) are two key molecules involved in pericellular proteolysis and cell proliferation during tumor growth and angiogenesis. Our previous data showed that MT1-MMP overexpression in human breast carcinoma MCF7 cells induced an up-regulation of VEGF expression. This effect was associated in vivo with accelerated tumor growth and angiogenesis. We now provide evidence that MT1-MMP overexpression specifically affected VEGF-A production and failed to influence that of other VEGF family members ( VEGF, B, C, D, or PlGF) or their receptors. The up-regulation of VEGF-A by MT1-MMP was related to an increased transcriptional activation rather than to a modification of mRNA stability. It was blocked by synthetic MMP inhibitors, TIMP2, but not TIMP-1 and abolished by a partial deletion of the catalytic domain or the cytoplasmic tail of MT1-MMP. Analysis of the signal transduction mechanisms demonstrated that MT1-MMP acts through a signaling pathway involving Src tyrosine kinases. Thus, our results provide new insight into the mechanisms of action of MT1-MMP during angiogenesis and suggest that the full enzymatic activity of MT1-MMP is required for a specific up-regulation of VEGF-A through an activation of Src tyrosine kinase pathways.