Journal Club of the Week: Gelatin Zymography & its Implications in Cardiac Remodeling

On 22nd May 2017, journal club meeting, the topic “Gelatin Zymography & its Implications in Cardiac Remodeling” was discussed.The rising global burden and irreversibility of heart failure necessitate the need of cardiac interventions to decrease post-myocardial infarction (MI) morbidity and mortality. Post – MI genomic, molecular, cellular & interstitial changes are manifested clinically as changes in the size, shape, & function of the heart after cardiac injury - phenomena termed as Cardiac Remodeling (CR). Cardiac fibroblasts and the highly invasive myofibroblasts are the keys players involved in the process of CR. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) system is the dominant proteolytic system involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrix in the heart. The increased activity MMP-2 and -9 is temporally associated with cardiac rupture. Moreover, targeted deletion of MMP-2 and -9 has been shown to improve post-MI survival by hindering macrophage infiltration and reducing LV dilatation and dysfunction. Gelatin zymography is a simple yet powerful method to detect proteolytic enzymes capable of degrading gelatin (MMP-2 and MMP-9) from various biological sources. This polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis-based method can provide a reliable assessment of the type of gelatinase, relative amount, and activation status (latent, compared with active enzyme forms) in cultured cells, tissues, and biological fluids. There are numerous advantages of this low-cost and highly sensitive technique, but the fact that it requires good optimization and troubleshooting can also not be ignored.