The Journal of biological chemistry

Thrombin-dependent MMP-2 activity is regulated by heparan sulfate.

PMID 21041295


Like most metalloproteases, matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP-2) is synthesized as a zymogen. MMP-2 propeptide plays a role in inhibition of catalytic activity through a cysteine-zinc ion pairing, disruption of which results in full enzyme activation. A variety of proteases have been shown to be involved in the activation of pro-MMP-2, including metalloproteases and serine proteases. In the previous study we showed that MMP-2 activation occurred via specific cleavages of the propeptide by thrombin followed by intermolecular autoproteolytic processing for full enzymatic activity. Thrombin also degraded MMP-2, but this degradation was reduced greatly under cell-associated conditions with a concomitant increase in activation, prompting us to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying thrombin-mediated MMP-2 activation. In the present study we demonstrate that heparan sulfate is essential for thrombin-mediated activation of pro-MMP-2. Binding of heparan sulfate to thrombin is primarily responsible for this activation process, presumably through conformational changes at the active site. Furthermore, interaction of MMP-2 with exosites 1 and 2 of thrombin is crucial for thrombin-mediated MMP-2 degradation, and inhibition of this interaction by heparan sulfate or hirudin fragment results in a decrease in MMP-2 degradation. Finally, we demonstrated interaction between exosite 1 and hemopexin-like domain of MMP-2, suggesting a regulatory role of hemopexin-like domain in MMP-2 degradation. Taken together, our experimental data suggest a novel regulatory mechanism of thrombin-dependent MMP-2 enzymatic activity by heparan sulfate proteoglycans.

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Ac-Hirudin Fragment 55-65 non-sulfated, ≥97% (HPLC)