Relaxin signals through a RXFP1-pERK-nNOS-NO-cGMP-dependent pathway to up-regulate matrix metalloproteinases: the additional involvement of iNOS

Bryna SM Chow, Elaine GY Chew, Chongxin Zhao, Ross AD Bathgate, Tim D Hewitson, Chrishan S Samuel

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62 Citations (Scopus)


The hormone, relaxin, inhibits aberrant myofibroblast differentiation and collagen deposition by disrupting the TGF-beta1/Smad2 axis, via its cognate receptor, Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 (RXFP1), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation (pERK) and a neuronal nitric oxide (NO) synthase (nNOS)-NO-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent pathway. However, the signalling pathways involved in its additional ability to increase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression and activity remain unknown. This study investigated the extent to which the NO pathway was involved in human gene-2 (H2) relaxin s ability to positively regulate MMP-1 and its rodent orthologue, MMP-13, MMP-2 and MMP-9 (the main collagen-degrading MMPs) in TGF-beta1-stimulated human dermal fibroblasts and primary renal myofibroblasts isolated from injured rats; by gelatin zymography (media) and Western blotting (cell layer). H2 relaxin (10-100 ng/ml) significantly increased MMP-1 (by 50 ), MMP-2 (by 80 ) and MMP-9 (by 80 ) in TGF-beta1-stimulated human dermal fibroblasts; and MMP-13 (by 90 ), MMP-2 (by 130 ) and MMP-9 (by 115 ) in rat renal myofibroblasts (all p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere42714
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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