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      Membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase digests interstitial collagens and other extracellular matrix macromolecules.

      The Journal of Biological Chemistry

      Humans, Collagen, metabolism, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Extracellular Matrix, Fibronectins, Gelatin, Glycoproteins, Laminin, Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors, Protease Inhibitors, Proteins, Substrate Specificity, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases, Vitronectin

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          Membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is expressed on cancer cell membranes and activates the zymogen of MMP-2 (gelatinase A). We have recently isolated MT1-MMP complexed with tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP-2) and demonstrated that MT1-MMP exhibits gelatinolytic activity by gelatin zymography (Imai, K., Ohuchi, E., Aoki, T., Nomura, H., Fujii, Y., Sato, H., Seiki, M., and Okada, Y. (1996) Cancer Res. 56, 2707-2710). In the present study, we have further purified to homogeneity a deletion mutant of MT1-MMP lacking the transmembrane domain (DeltaMT1) and native MT1-MMP secreted from a human breast carcinoma cell line (MDA-MB-231 cells) and examined their substrate specificities. Both proteinases are active, without any treatment for activation, and digest type I (guinea pig), II (bovine), and III (human) collagens into characteristic 3/4 and 1/4 fragments. The cleavage sites of type I collagen are the Gly775-Ile776 bond for alpha1(I) chains and the Gly775-Leu776 and Gly781-Ile782 bonds for alpha2(I) chains. DeltaMT1 hydrolyzes type I collagen 6.5- or 4-fold more preferentially than type II or III collagen, whereas MMP-1 (tissue collagenase) digests type III collagen more efficiently than the other two collagens. Quantitative analyses of the activity of DeltaMT1 and MMP-1 indicate that DeltaMT1 is 5-7.1-fold less efficient at cleaving type I collagen. On the other hand, gelatinolytic activity of DeltaMT1 is 8-fold higher than that of MMP-1. DeltaMT1 also digests cartilage proteoglycan, fibronectin, vitronectin and laminin-1 as well as alpha1-proteinase inhibitor and alpha2-macroglobulin. The activity of DeltaMT1 on type I collagen is synergistically increased with co-incubation with MMP-2. These results indicate that MT1-MMP is an extracellular matrix-degrading enzyme sharing the substrate specificity with interstitial collagenases, and suggest that MT1-MMP plays a dual role in pathophysiological digestion of extracellular matrix through direct cleavage of the substrates and activation of proMMP-2.

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