Journal of neurochemistry

Cleavage of neuronal synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa by exogenous matrix metalloproteinase-7.

PMID 17472697


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) belong to a family of zinc dependent enzymes best studied for their role in cancer and inflammation. Though MMPs typically target extracellular proteins, here we show that MMP-7, an MMP family member which lacks a C-terminal hemopexin-like domain, can cleave an intraneuronal protein that is critical to vesicular fusion and neurotransmitter release, synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). Western blot analysis using an N-terminal specific antibody on extracts from cultured neurons suggests that cleavage occurs towards the C-terminal portion of SNAP 25. Additional studies with recombinant SNAP-25 demonstrate that cleavage occurs at amino acid 129. The ability of MMP-7 to cleave SNAP-25 is diminished by chlorpromazine and phenylarsine oxide, inhibitors of clathrin dependent endocytosis. Together, these results imply that exogenous MMP-7 can access an intraneuronal substrate and suggest that additional studies may be warranted to determine if SNAP function is impaired with brain inflammation.