It has been well established that invasion-promoting membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), a multifunctional membrane-tethered enzyme, functions in cancer cells as a mediator of pericellular proteolysis and directly cleaves several cell surface receptors, including CD44. In this report, we confirm that adhesion of diabetogenic T cells promotes the activation of endogenous MT1-MMP. Activated protease then cleaves CD44 in adherent T cells. We have validated that the T cell CD44 receptor is critical for the adhesion of diabetogenic insulin-specific, CD8-positive, K(d)-restricted cells to the matrix as well as for the subsequent transmigration of the adherent T cells through the endothelium and homing of the transmigrated T cells into the pancreatic islets. We have determined that the inhibition of MT1-MMP by low dosages of AG3340 (a subnanomolar range hydroxamate inhibitor of MMPs that has been widely tested in cancer patients) inhibited both T cell MT1-MMP activity and MT1-MMP-dependent shedding of CD44, immobilized T cells on the endothelium, repressed the homing of diabetogenic T cells into the pancreatic islets, reduced insulitis and mononuclear cell infiltration, and promoted either the recovery or the rejuvenation of the functional insulin-producing beta cells in diabetic NOD mice with freshly developed type I diabetes (IDDM). We believe our data constitute a mechanistic and substantive rationale for clinical trials of selected MT1-MMP inhibitors in the therapy of IDDM in humans.
A. Savinov, D. Rozanov, A. Strongin
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology