The neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) regulates neuronal growth, differentiation, and survival during development. However, the precursor of NGF, proNGF, is a potent apoptotic ligand for the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75 NTR)-sortilin complex. The mechanisms that regulate cleavage of proNGF, therefore, are critical determinants of whether this factor promotes neuronal survival or death. In this study, we demonstrate that, following kainic acid-induced seizures, the proNGF processing enzyme matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP-7) and its inhibitor TIMP-1 (tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1) are regulated in a manner that prevents proneurotrophin cleavage and leads to increased proNGF in the extracellular milieu. Furthermore, we demonstrate both in vitro and in vivo that exogenous MMP-7enhances proNGF cleavage and provides neuroprotection following kainic acid treatment. These data demonstrate that increased extracellular proNGF levels following seizures are stabilized by alteredMMP-7enzymatic activity, leading to increased neuronal death via activation of p75 NTR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes