An osteopontin-NADPH oxidase signaling cascade promotes pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9 activation in aortic mesenchymal cells

Chung Fang Lai, Venkat Seshadri, Kane Huang, Jian Su Shao, Jun Cai, Radhika Vattikuti, Arwyn Schumacher, Arleen P. Loewy, David T. Denhardt, Susan R. Rittling, Dwight A. Towler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Osteopontin (OPN) is a cytokine upregulated in diabetic vascular disease. To better understand its role in vascular remodeling, we assessed how OPN controls metalloproteinase (MMP) activation in aortic adventitial myofibroblasts (AMFs) and A7r5 vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). By zymography, OPN and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α preferentially upregulate pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9 (pro-MMP9) activity. TNF-α upregulated pro-MMP9 in AMFs isolated from wild-type (OPN) mice, but pro-MMP9 induction was abrogated in AMFs from OPN mice. OPN treatment of VSMCs enhanced pro-MMP9 activity, and TNF-α induction of pro-MMP9 was inhibited by anti-OPN antibody and apocynin. Superoxide and the oxylipid product 8-isoprostaglandin F2 α-isoprostane (8-IsoP) were increased by OPN treatment, and anti-OPN antibody suppressed 8-IsoP production. Like OPN and TNF-α, 8-IsoP preferentially activated pro-MMP9. Superoxide, 8-IsoP, and NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) subunits were reduced in OPN AMFs. Treatment of A7r5 VSMCs with OPN upregulated NADPH oxidase subunit accumulation. OPN structure/function studies mapped these activities to the SVVYGLR heptapeptide motif in the thrombin-liberated human OPN N-terminal domain (SLAYGLR in mouse OPN). Treatment of aortic VSMCs with SVVYGLR upregulated pro-MMP9 activity and restored TNF-α activation of pro-MMP9 in OPN AMFs. Injection of OPN-deficient OPN mice with SVVYGLR peptide upregulated pro-MMP9 activity, 8-IsoP levels, and Nox2 protein levels in aorta and increased panmural superoxide production (dihydroethidium staining). At equivalent hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, 8-IsoP levels and aortic pro-MMP9 were reduced with complete OPN deficiency in a model of diet-induced diabetes, achieved by comparing OPN/LDLR versus OPN/LDLR siblings. Thus, OPN provides a paracrine signal that augments vascular pro-MMP9 activity, mediated in part via superoxide generation and oxylipid formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1489
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Diabetes
  • Metalloproteinase
  • Osteopontin
  • Superoxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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