Cleavage of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Overexpressing Membrane-Type Matrix Metalloproteinases

Tomoko Shofuda, Ken Ichi Shofuda, Nicola Ferri, Richard D. Kenagy, Elaine W. Raines, Alexander W. Clowes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background-Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) were initially identified as cell surface activators of MMP-2 (gelatinase A). We have reported that MTI-MMPs and MT3-MMPs are expressed by activated vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and play a role in the regulation of cell function. Overexpression of MT-MMPs results in cell rounding, decreased adherence, and increased migration. Because integrin-mediated cell adhesion regulates these events, we have investigated the functional relationship between MT-MMPs and focal adhesion assembly. Methods and Results-Using adenoviral vectors we show that overexpression of MT-MMPs reduces the number of focal contacts, whereas the cell surface expression of integrin subunits remains unchanged. The 125-kDa focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is cleaved resulting in a 90-kDa fragment under these conditions, and paxillin is partially dissociated from FAK after its cleavage. Pretreatment of cells with BB94, a synthetic MMP inhibitor, rescues cell adhesion and prevents changes in focal adhesions, supporting a potential role for MT-MMP enzymatic activities. Conclusions-This study provides the first evidence that MT-MMPs are not only important in matrix degradation but also may affect the function of focal adhesions through FAK cleavage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-844
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Cell adhesion
  • Focal adhesion kinase
  • Integrin
  • MT1-MMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Cleavage of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Overexpressing Membrane-Type Matrix Metalloproteinases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this