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The precursor of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (pro-MMP-9, progelatinase B) noncovalently binds to tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 through the C-terminal domain of each molecule. We have isolated the proMMP-9.TIMP-1 complex from the medium of human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells and investigated the activation processes of the complex by 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate, trypsin, and matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3, stromelysin 1). The treatment of the proMMP-9.TIMP-1 complex with 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate or trypsin converts proMMP-9 to lower molecular weight species corresponding to active forms, but no gelatinolytic activity is detected. The lack of enzymic activity results from binding of TIMP-1 to the activated MMP-9. The treatment of the proMMP-9.TIMP-1 complex with a possible physiological proMMP-9 activator, MMP-3, does not reveal any gelatinolytic activity unless the molar ratio of MMP-3 to the complex exceeds 1. This is due to the inhibition of MMP-3 by TIMP-1 forming a ternary proMMP-9.TIMP-1.MMP-3 complex. The formation of the ternary complex weakens the interaction between proMMP-9 and TIMP-1, resulting in partial dissociation of the complex into proMMP-9 and the TIMP-1.MMP-3 complex. When MMP-3 is in excess, the propeptide is completely processed, and the full activity of MMP-9 is detected. Similarly, the proMMP-9.TIMP-1 complex inhibits MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) and in turn renders the proMMP-9 activable by a catalytic amount of MMP-3. These results suggest that formation of the proMMP-9.TIMP-1 complex regulates extracellular matrix breakdown in tissue by switching the predominant MMP activity from one type to another.

Original publication

DOI

10.1074/jbc.270.31.18506

Type

Journal article

Journal

The Journal of biological chemistry

Publication Date

08/1995

Volume

270

Pages

18506 - 18511

Addresses

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160-7421, USA.

Keywords

Tumor Cells, Cultured, Extracellular Matrix, Humans, Phenylmercuric Acetate, Macromolecular Substances, Enzyme Precursors, Metalloendopeptidases, Collagenases, Trypsin, Glycoproteins, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases, Enzyme Activation, Protein Binding, Matrix Metalloproteinase 9, Matrix Metalloproteinase 3