The effect of mechanical strain on protease production by keratinocytes

N Bhadal, I B Wall, S R Porter, S Broad, G E Lindahl, S Whawell, M P Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Intact skin is under constant tension, transmitted from the underlying dermis, but when tension is lost (i.e. upon wounding) protease activity is upregulated.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of mechanical strain on protease production by both normal and transformed keratinocytes in vitro.

METHODS: Keratinocytes were seeded on to membranes precoated with either type I or type IV collagen. After 48 h medium was replaced with serum-free medium and mechanical strain was applied.

RESULTS: Mechanical strain resulted in decreased urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) production by normal human keratinocytes (P<0.05) but increased production by transformed keratinocytes (P<0.05) cultured on type I and type IV collagen.

CONCLUSIONS: Differential production of uPA by normal and transformed keratinocytes is relevant in the context of normal function, wound healing and tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-398
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Cells, Cultured/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes/metabolism
  • Skin/metabolism
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator/metabolism
  • Wound Healing/physiology


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