Background: Cathepsin G, a serine protease that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, increases matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in fibroblasts through fibronectin (Fn) fragmentation and promotes the conversion of proMMP-1 to active MMP-1. Objectives: This study investigated whether [2-[3-[[(1-benzoyl-4-piperidinyl)methylamino]carbonyl]-2-naphthalenyl] -1-(1-naphthalenyl)-2-oxoethyl]-phosphonic acid (KPA), a cathepsin G inhibitor, plays any role in extracellular matrix (ECM) damage in an in vitro 3D dermal equivalent (DE) and an in vivo ultraviolet B (UVB)-irradiated hairless mice. Methods: We examined the potential ECM-protective effects of a cathepsin G inhibitor in an in vitro 3D DE model and an in vivo UVB-irradiated hairless mouse skin model. Results: Among five known serine protease inhibitors, KPA showed the strongest potency and selectivity against cathepsin G. KPA inhibited the cathepsin G-mediated MMP-1 increase and alleviated the downregulation of mRNAs encoding collagen and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 in an in vitro 3D DE model. Most importantly, topical application of KPA (0.025%) to the dorsal skin of hairless mice enhanced collagen expression and attenuated UVB-induced Fn fragmentation and upregulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities. Conclusions: Cathepsin G inhibitors may be useful for the prevention of UVB-induced photoaging through amelioration of ECM damage and MMP upregulation.
- Cathepsin G
- Matrix metalloproteinase