Andrea Page-McCaw, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Associate Professor of Cancer Biology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
465 21st Avenue South
MRBIII, rm 4206
Nashville, TN 37232-8240
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) can cleave components of the extracellular matrix. They are upregulated in most tumors and are believed to facilitate tumor growth and invasion. Accordingly, MMP inhibitors have been the targets of several clinical trials. Yet the use of MMP inhibitors as therapeutic agents has been problematic as they have caused unacceptable side effects.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) can cleave components of the extracellular matrix. They are upregulated in most tumors and are believed to facilitate tumor growth and invasion. Accordingly, MMP inhibitors have been the targets of several clinical trials. Yet the use of MMP inhibitors as therapeutic agents has been problematic as they have caused unacceptable side effects. These side effects highlight the importance of understanding the normal physiological and developmental roles of MMPs. My laboratory is examining the requirements for MMPs in a model organism Drosophila melaogaster. Although vertebrates have more than 20 MMP family members, Drosophila has only two (non-redundant) MMPs; this organism is also highly amenable to developmental and physiological studies at the genetic and cell biological level. Our studies have demonstrated that MMPs are absolutely required for tissue remodeling events that normally occur during growth and during the transition from juvenile to adult forms. My laboratory has an additional focus on wound healing. Normal wound healing shares many similarities with the tumor microenvironment, and indeed tumor invasion has been compared to “wound healing gone awry.” We are examining the contributions of blood cells and epithelia to healing normal epithelial wounds. In our model system, MMPs are required in both blood and in epithelia, as animals lacking MMPs in either tissue cannot heal puncture wounds. We seek to understand the functions of MMPs in this normal physiological process to use these findings to understand the tumor microenvironment.
- B.A. Harvard University
- Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Postdoctoral training, University of California Berkeley
Cell-extracellular interactions: cell signaling, extracellular matrix, and mechanical signaling.
Animals modify existing tissues to meet the demands of continuing growth and development or environmental challenge. This is known as tissue remodeling. Tissue remodeling is also required for tissue repair after insult or injury, and it goes awry during cancer when tumors usurp tissue remodeling functions to promote metastasis. My lab is especially interested in how cells interact with the extracellular environment during remodeling, both in terms of signaling and extracellular matrix. Matrix can be cleaved and removed by proteases, strengthened by cross linking, or repaired by unknown mechanisms, and we are investigating all these processes.
Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruitfly) has been an important model organism for understanding cell and developmental biology because of its advanced genetics and beautiful cytology. The extracellular environment is highly conserved in the fly, but much simpler, with less redundancy. Genetic experiments can be done rapidly and with great precision. We exploit this genomic simplicity and genetic precision to address fundamental questions about how cells interact with their extracellular environment.
- Wang, X, Page-McCaw, A A matrix metalloproteinase mediates long-distance attenuation of stem cell proliferation. J Cell Biol, 206(7), 923-36, 2014.
- McCall, AS, Cummings, CF, Bhave, G, Vanacore, R, Page-McCaw, A, Hudson, BG Bromine Is an Essential Trace Element for Assembly of Collagen IV Scaffolds in Tissue Development and Architecture. Cell, 157(6), 1380-92, 2014.
- Saito-Diaz, K, Chen, TW, Wang, X, Thorne, CA, Wallace, HA, Page-McCaw, A, Lee, E The way Wnt works: components and mechanism. Growth Factors, 31(1), 1-31, 2013.
- Stevens, LJ, Page-McCaw, A A secreted MMP is required for reepithelialization during wound healing. Mol Biol Cell, 23(6), 1068-79, 2012.
- Broderick, S, Wang, X, Simms, N, Page-McCaw, A Drosophila Ninjurin A induces nonapoptotic cell death. PLoS One, 7(9), e44567, 2012.
- Miller, CM, Liu, N, Page-McCaw, A, Broihier, HT Drosophila mmp2 regulates the matrix molecule faulty attraction (frac) to promote motor axon targeting in Drosophila. J Neurosci, 31(14), 5335-47, 2011.
- Glasheen, BM, Robbins, RM, Piette, C, Beitel, GJ, Page-McCaw, A A matrix metalloproteinase mediates airway remodeling in Drosophila. Dev Biol, 344(2), 772-83, 2010.
- Glasheen, BM, Kabra, AT, Page-McCaw, A Distinct functions for the catalytic and hemopexin domains of a Drosophila matrix metalloproteinase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(8), 2659-64, 2009.
- Miller, CM, Page-McCaw, A, Broihier, HT Matrix metalloproteinases promote motor axon fasciculation in the Drosophila embryo. Development, 135(1), 95-109, 2008.
- Page-McCaw, A Remodeling the model organism: matrix metalloproteinase functions in invertebrates. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 19(1), 14-23, 2008.
- Page-McCaw, A, Ewald, AJ, Werb, Z Matrix metalloproteinases and the regulation of tissue remodelling. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 8(3), 221-33, 2007.
- Beaucher, M, Hersperger, E, Page-McCaw, A, Shearn, A Metastatic ability of Drosophila tumors depends on MMP activity. Dev Biol, 303(2), 625-34, 2007.
- Zhang, S, Dailey, GM, Kwan, E, Glasheen, BM, Sroga, GE, Page-McCaw, A An MMP liberates the Ninjurin A ectodomain to signal a loss of cell adhesion. Genes Dev, 20(14), 1899-910, 2006.
- Myllykangas, L, Tyynel, J, Page-McCaw, A, Rubin, GM, Haltia, MJ, Feany, MB Cathepsin D-deficient Drosophila recapitulate the key features of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Neurobiol Dis, 19(1-2), 194-9, 2004.
- Page-McCaw, A, Serano, J, Sante, JM, Rubin, GM Drosophila matrix metalloproteinases are required for tissue remodeling, but not embryonic development. Dev Cell, 4(1), 95-106, 2003.