CD36 Is a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Substrate That Stimulates Neutrophil Apoptosis and Removal During Cardiac Remodeling

DeLeon-Pennell KY, Tian Y, Zhang B, Cates CA, Iyer RP, Cannon P, Shah P, Aiyetan P, Halade GV, Ma Y, Flynn E, Zhang Z, Jin YF, Zhang H, Lindsey ML. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2016 Feb;9(1):14-25. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.115.001249. PMID: 26578544


After myocardial infarction, the left ventricle undergoes a wound healing response that includes the robust infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages to facilitate removal of dead myocytes as well as turnover of the extracellular matrix. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 is a key enzyme that regulates post-myocardial infarction left ventricular remodeling.

Infarct regions from wild-type and MMP-9 null mice (n=8 per group) analyzed by glycoproteomics showed that of 541 N-glycosylated proteins quantified, 45 proteins were at least 2-fold upregulated or downregulated with MMP-9 deletion (all P<0.05). Cartilage intermediate layer protein and platelet glycoprotein 4 (CD36) were identified as having the highest fold increase in MMP-9 null mice. By immunoblotting, CD36 but not cartilage intermediate layer protein decreased steadily during the time course post-myocardial infarction, which identified CD36 as a candidate MMP-9 substrate. MMP-9 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo to proteolytically degrade CD36. In vitro stimulation of day 7 post-myocardial infarction macrophages with MMP-9 or a CD36-blocking peptide reduced phagocytic capacity. Dual immunofluorescence revealed concomitant accumulation of apoptotic neutrophils in the MMP-9 null group compared with wild-type group. In vitro stimulation of isolated neutrophils with MMP-9 decreased neutrophil apoptosis, indicated by reduced caspase-9 expression.

Our data reveal a new cell-signaling role for MMP-9 through CD36 degradation to regulate macrophage phagocytosis and neutrophil apoptosis.