We identify matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-8, the polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte collagenase, as a critical mediator initiating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-responsiveness in vivo. PMN infiltration towards LPS is abrogated in Mmp8-null mice. MMP-8 cleaves LPS-induced CXC chemokine (LIX) at Ser(4)-Val(5) and Lys(79)-Arg(80). LIX bioactivity is increased upon N-terminal cleavage, enhancing intracellular calcium mobilization and chemotaxis upon binding its cognate receptor, CXCR2. As there is no difference in PMN chemotaxis in Mmp8-null mice compared with wild-type mice towards synthetic analogues of MMP-8-cleaved LIX, MMP-8 is not essential for extravasation or cell migration in collagenous matrices in vivo. However, with biochemical redundancy between MMPs 1, 2, 9, and 13, which also cleave LIX at position 4 approximately 5, it was surprising to observe such a markedly reduced PMN infiltration towards LPS and LIX in Mmp8-/- mice. This lack of physiological redundancy in vivo identifies MMP-8 as a key mediator in the regulation of innate immunity. Comparable results were found with CXCL8/IL-8 and CXCL5/ENA-78, the human orthologues of LIX. MMP-8 cleaves CXCL8 at Arg(5)-Ser(6) and at Val(7)-Leu(8) in CXCL5 to activate respective chemokines. Hence, rather than collagen, these PMN chemoattractants are important MMP-8 substrates in vivo; PMN-derived MMP-8 cleaves and activates LIX to execute an in cis PMN-controlled feed-forward mechanism to orchestrate the initial inflammatory response and promote LPS responsiveness in tissue.
Tester, A. M., Cox, J. H., Connor, A. R., Starr, A. E., Dean, R. A., Puente, X. S., … Overall, C. M. (2007). LPS responsiveness and neutrophil chemotaxis in vivo require PMN MMP-8 activity. PLoS ONE, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000312