The Journal of biological chemistry

Sequence specificity of human skin fibroblast collagenase. Evidence for the role of collagen structure in determining the collagenase cleavage site.

PMID 3032960


The sequence specificity of human skin fibroblast collagenase has been investigated by measuring the rate of hydrolysis of 16 synthetic octapeptides covering the P4 through P4' subsites of the substrate. The choice of peptides was patterned after potential collagenase cleavage sites (those containing either the Gly-Leu-Ala or Gly-Ile-Ala sequences) found in types I, II, and III collagens. The initial rate of hydrolysis of the P1-P1' bond of each peptide has been measured by quantitating the concentration of amino groups produced upon cleavage after reaction with fluorescamine. The reactions have been carried out under first-order conditions ([S] much less than KM) and kcat/KM values have been calculated from the initial rates. The amino acids in subsites P3 (Pro, Ala, Leu, or Asn), P2 (Gln, Leu, Hyp, Arg, Asp, or Val), P1' (Ile or Leu), and P4' (Gln, Thr, His, Ala, or Pro) all influence the hydrolysis rates. However, the differences in the relative rates observed for these octapeptides cannot in themselves explain why fibroblast collagenase hydrolyzes only the Gly-Leu and Gly-Ile bonds found at the cleavage site of native collagens. This supports the notion that the local structure of collagen is important in determining the location of the mammalian collagenase cleavage site.