Podocytes contribute to the filtration barrier within the kidney. The integrinlinked kinase (ILK) plays an important role in podocyte adhesion to the glomerular basement membrane, signal transduction and phenotype regulation. We demonstrate that ILK activity is also associated with upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) mRNA levels during podocyte stress. A synthetic ILK inhibitor blocked MMP-9 mRNA upregulation but showed no effect on TIMP-1 or MMP-2 mRNA expression. Interestingly, a corresponding increase in MMP-9 secretion was not observed, suggesting that MMP-9 mRNA production in podocytes is regulated via ILK, whereas additional signaling pathways may mediate the posttranscriptional regulation of MMP-9.
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