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EMBO J. 1998 Sep 1;17(17):5238-48.

Crystal structure of the complex formed by the membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase with the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2, the soluble progelatinase A receptor.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18a, D-82152 Martinsried-Planegg, Germany.


The proteolytic activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) towards extracellular matrix components is held in check by the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). The binary complex of TIMP-2 and membrane-type-1 MMP (MT1-MMP) forms a cell surface located 'receptor' involved in pro-MMP-2 activation. We have solved the 2.75 A crystal structure of the complex between the catalytic domain of human MT1-MMP (cdMT1-MMP) and bovine TIMP-2. In comparison with our previously determined MMP-3-TIMP-1 complex, both proteins are considerably tilted to one another and show new features. CdMT1-MMP, apart from exhibiting the classical MMP fold, displays two large insertions remote from the active-site cleft that might be important for interaction with macromolecular substrates. The TIMP-2 polypeptide chain, as in TIMP-1, folds into a continuous wedge; the A-B edge loop is much more elongated and tilted, however, wrapping around the S-loop and the beta-sheet rim of the MT1-MMP. In addition, both C-terminal edge loops make more interactions with the target enzyme. The C-terminal acidic tail of TIMP-2 is disordered but might adopt a defined structure upon binding to pro-MMP-2; the Ser2 side-chain of TIMP-2 extends into the voluminous S1' specificity pocket of cdMT1-MMP, with its Ogamma pointing towards the carboxylate of the catalytic Glu240. The lower affinity of TIMP-1 for MT1-MMP compared with TIMP-2 might be explained by a reduced number of favourable interactions.

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