Author(s): Morrison CJ, Overall CM
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Abstract The important and distinct contribution that membrane type 2 (MT2)-matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) makes to physiological and pathological processes is now being recognized. This contribution may be mediated in part through MMP-2 activation by MT2-MMP. Using Timp2-/- cells, we previously demonstrated that MT2-MMP activates MMP-2 to the fully active form in a pathway that is TIMP-2-independent but MMP-2 hemopexin carboxyl (C) domain-dependent. In this study cells expressing MT2-MMP as well as chimera proteins in which the C-terminal half of MT2-MMP and MT1-MMP were exchanged showed that the MT2-MMP catalytic domain has a higher propensity than that of MT1-MMP to initiate cleavage of the MMP-2 prodomain in the absence of TIMP-2. Although we demonstrate that MT2-MMP is a weak collagenase, this first activation cleavage was enhanced by growing the cells in type I collagen gels. The second activation cleavage to generate fully active MMP-2 was specifically enhanced by a soluble factor expressed by Timp2-/- cells and was MT2-MMP hemopexin C domain-dependent; however, the RGD sequence within this domain was not involved. Interestingly, in the presence of TIMP-2, a MT2-MMP.MMP-2 trimolecular complex formed, but activation was not enhanced. Similarly, TIMP-3 did not promote MT2-MMP-mediated MMP-2 activation but inhibited activation at higher concentrations. This study demonstrates the influence that both the catalytic and hemopexin C domains of MT2-MMP exert in determining TIMP independence in MMP-2 activation. In tissues or pathologies characterized by low TIMP-2 expression, this pathway may represent an alternative means of rapidly generating low levels of active MMP-2.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Medical & Surgical Pathology