Individual Timp deficiencies differentially impact pro-MMP-2 activation.
English JL., Kassiri Z., Koskivirta I., Atkinson SJ., Di Grappa M., Soloway PD., Nagase H., Vuorio E., Murphy G., Khokha R.
Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) have emerged as key enzymes in tumor cell biology. The importance of MT1-MMP, in particular, is highlighted by its ability to activate pro-MMP-2 at the cell surface through the formation of a trimolecular complex comprised of MT1-MMP/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2)/pro-MMP-2. TIMPs 1-4 are physiological MMP inhibitors with distinct roles in the regulation of pro-MMP-2 processing. Here, we have shown that individual Timp deficiencies differentially affect MMP-2 processing using primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Timp-3 deficiency accelerated pro-MMP-2 activation in response to both cytochalasin D and concanavalin A. Exogenous TIMP-2 and N-TIMP-3 inhibited this activation, whereas TIMP-3 containing matrix from wild-type MEFs did not rescue the enhanced MMP-2 activation in Timp-3(-/-) cells. Increased processing of MMP-2 did not arise from increased expression of MT1-MMP, MT2-MMP, or MT3-MMP or altered expression of TIMP-2 and MMP-2. To test whether increased MMP-2 processing in Timp-3(-/-) MEFs is dependent on TIMP-2, double deficient Timp-2(-/-)/-3(-/-) MEFs were used. In these double deficient cells, the cleavage of pro-MMP-2 to its intermediate form was substantially increased, but the subsequent cleavage of intermediate-MMP-2 to fully active form, although absent in Timp-2(-/-) MEFs, was detectable with combined Timp-2(-/-)/-3(-/-) deficiency. TIMP-4 associates with MMP-2 and MT1-MMP in a manner similar to TIMP-3, but its deletion had no effect on pro-MMP-2 processing. Thus, TIMP-3 provides an inherent regulation over the kinetics of pro-MMP-2 processing, serving at a level distinct from that of TIMP-2 and TIMP-4.