Role of matrix metalloproteinases 7 in the pathogenesis of laryngopharyngeal reflux: Decreased e-cadherin in acid exposed primary human pharyngeal epithelial cells

Nu Ri Im, Doh Young Lee, Byoungjae Kim, Jian Kim, Kwang Yoon Jung, Tae Hoon Kim, Seung Kuk Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cleavage of E-cadherin and the resultant weakness in the cell-cell links in the laryngeal epithelium lining is induced by exposure to acidic contents of the refluxate. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in inducing E-cadherin level changes following acid exposure to the human pharyngeal mucosal cells. E-cadherin levels were inversely correlated with the duration of acid exposure. Treatment with actinonin, a broad MMP inhibitor, inhibited this change. Immunocytochemical staining and transepithelial permeability test revealed that the cell surface staining of E-cadherin decreased and transepithelial permeability increased after acid exposure, which was significantly inhibited by the MMP inhibitor. Among the various MMPs analyzed, the mRNA for MMP-7 in the cellular component was upregulated, and the secretion and enzymatic activity of MMP-7 in the culture media increased with the acid treatment. Consequently, MMP-7 plays a significant role in the degradation of E-cadherin after exposure to a relatively weak acidic condition that would be similar to the physiologic condition that occurs in Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5276
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1



  • Acid
  • E-cadherin
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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