Biologically-active laminin-111 fragment that modulates the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in embryonic stem cells.
Horejs C-M., Serio A., Purvis A., Gormley AJ., Bertazzo S., Poliniewicz A., Wang AJ., DiMaggio P., Hohenester E., Stevens MM.
The dynamic interplay between the extracellular matrix and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) constitutes one of the key steps in understanding stem cell differentiation in vitro. Here we report a biologically-active laminin-111 fragment generated by matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) processing, which is highly up-regulated during differentiation. We show that the β1-chain-derived fragment interacts via α3β1-integrins, thereby triggering the down-regulation of MMP2 in mouse and human ESCs. Additionally, the expression of MMP9 and E-cadherin is up-regulated in mouse ESCs--key players in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. We also demonstrate that the fragment acts through the α3β1-integrin/extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer complex. This study reveals a previously unidentified role of laminin-111 in early stem cell differentiation that goes far beyond basement membrane assembly and a mechanism by which an MMP2-cleaved laminin fragment regulates the expression of E-cadherin, MMP2, and MMP9.