MMP-12 polarizes neutrophil signalome towards an apoptotic signature

Upendra Chalise, Mediha Becirovic-Agic, Shelby R. Konfrst, Jocelyn R. Rodriguez-Paar, Leah M. Cook, Merry L. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


While macrophages are well-known to polarize across the inflammatory spectrum, neutrophils have only recently been found to activate in a similar fashion in response to pro- or anti-inflammatory stimuli. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12 mediates neutrophil physiology with direct signaling mechanisms yet investigated. We hypothesized MMP-12 may modify neutrophil signaling. Bone marrow neutrophils were stimulated with IL-1β (pro-inflammatory), IL-4 (anti-inflammatory), or MMP-12. The secretome was mapped by multi-analyte profiling and intracellular signaling evaluated by array. IL-1β induced a cytokine-mediated inflammatory LPS-like signalome, with upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon gamma (IFNγ,15.2-fold,p = 0.001), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1,8.4-fold,p = 0.005), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα,11.2-fold,p = 0.004). IL-4 induced strong intracellular signaling with upregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK1;1.9-fold,p = 0.0005) and downregulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4;0.77-fold,0.001). MMP-12 increased IL-4 secretion 20-fold and induced a robust apoptotic neutrophil signalome with upregulation of forkhead box O1 (FOXO1;1.4-fold,p < 0.0001) and downregulation of WNT signaling with MMP-12 cleavage of the adherens junction components β-catenin, cahderin-3, and catenin-α2. In conclusion, neutrophils shifted phenotype by stimuli, with MMP-12 inducing a unique apoptotic signalome with higher resemblance to the anti-inflammatory signalome. Significance: This study revealed that neutrophils demonstrate unique polarization signaling responses to specific stimuli, with the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12 signalome showing similarity to the IL-4 signalome. MMP-12 polarized neutrophils towards a strong apoptotic signature by upregulating FOXO1 and downregulating WNT signaling. Our results highlight that neutrophils display more plasticity than previously appreciated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104636
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - Jul 30 2022


  • Matrix metalloproteinase-12
  • Neutrophil
  • Polarization
  • Proteomics
  • Signalome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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