Liver X receptor-dependent repression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in macrophages

Antonio Castrillo, Sean B. Joseph, Chaitra Marathe, David J. Mangelsdorf, Peter Tontonoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc endopeptidases that degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) components during normal and pathogenic tissue remodeling. Inappropriate expression of these enzymes contributes to the development of vascular pathology, including atherosclerosis. MMP-9 is expressed in its active form in atherosclerotic lesions and is believed to play an important role in vascular remodeling, smooth muscle cell migration, and plaque instability. We demonstrate here that the liver X receptors (LXRs) LXRα and LXRβ inhibit basal and cytokine-inducible expression of MMP-9. Treatment of murine peritoneal macrophages with the synthetic LXR agonists GW3965 or T1317 reduces MMP-9 mRNA expression and blunts its induction by pro-inflammatory stimuli including lipopolysaccharide, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor α. In contrast, macrophage expression of MMP-12 and MMP-13 is not altered by LXR ligands. We further show that the ability of LXR ligands to regulate MMP-9 expression is strictly receptor-dependent and is not observed in macrophages obtained from LXRαβ null mice. Analysis of the 5′-flanking region of the MMP-9 gene indicates that LXR/RXR heterodimers do not bind directly to the MMP-9 promoter. Rather, activation of LXRs represses MMP-9 expression, at least in part through antagonism of the NFκB signaling pathway. These observations identify the regulation of macrophage MMP-9 expression as a mechanism whereby activation of LXRs may impact macrophage inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10443-10449
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 21 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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