Collagenase from Clostridium histolyticum has been used:
- to induce intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in mice
- to digest collagen 3D gels for immunofluorescence
- to cause focal blood extravasation and hemorrhage in mouse
Collagenase has been used in the preparation of arterial tissue for the study of Advanced Glycosylation End Products (AGE). The enzyme has also been used along with other proteases for the disaggregation of human tumor, mouse kidney, human brain, lung epithelium and many other tissues. It is also effective in liver and kidney perfusion studies, digestion of pancreas, and isolation of nonparenchymal hepatocytes.
Clostridium histolyticum contains two classes of collagenases. Clostridial collagenases are more effective than mammalian collagenases. It cleaves at multiple cleavage sites within the collagen triple helix. Clostridial collagenases are involved in bacterial invasion in gas gangrene.
Effective release of cells from tissue requires the action of both collagenase enzymes and the neutral protease. Collagenase is activated by four gram atom calcium (Ca2+) per mole enzyme. The culture filtrate is thought to contain at least 7 different proteases ranging in molecular weight from 68-130 kDa (pH optimum: 6.3-8.8). The enzyme recognizes the sequence -R-Pro-8-X-Gly-Pro-R-, where X is most often a neutral amino acid.
Collagenase is activated by four gram atom calcium per mole enzyme. It is inhibited by ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether) - N, N, N′,N′-tetraacetic acid, beta-mercaptoethanol, glutathione, thioglycolic acid and 8-hydroxyquinoline.
One collagen digestion unit (CDU) liberates peptides from collagen from bovine achilles tendon equivalent in ninhydrin color to 1.0 μmole of leucine in 5 hours at pH 7.4 at 37 °C in the presence of calcium ions. One FALGPA hydrolysis unit hydrolyzes 1.0 μmole of furylacryloyl-Leu-Gly-Pro-Ala per min at 25°C. One Neutral Protease unit hydrolyzes casein to produce color equivalent to 1.0 μmole of tyrosine per 5 hr at pH 7.5 at 37°C. One Clostripain Unit hydrolyzes 1.0 μmole of BAEE per min at pH 7.6 at 25°C in the presence of DTT.