Human reproduction (Oxford, England)

Regulation of MMP-9 by p53 in first trimester cytotrophoblastic cells.

PMID 18635530


The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family is known to play a key role in tissue remodelling during embryonic development and in pathological conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and cancer metastasis. It has been shown previously that p53 regulates positively or negatively the expression of different MMPs. Because of p53 overexpression in trophoblastic cells, and its potential role in regulating MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in different cell lines, we hypothesized that the expression of MMP-9 could also be regulated by p53 in first trimester cytotrophoblasts (CTB). Transfection experiments in CTB demonstrated that wild-type p53 down-regulates the -670 (P < 0.001) but not the -531 and -90 human MMP-9 promoter/CAT reporter plasmid activity, whereas p53 mutants partially lost this repressive activity. However, endogenous p53 is not able to regulate MMP-9 expression in CTB. The presence of high molecular weight complexes of p53 in CTB suggests a potential mechanism of inactivation of p53 transcriptional activity towards MMPs in these cells. Although p53 is mutated in trophoblast, it is functionally incompetent towards MMPs in these cells.