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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 8;276(23):20458-65. Epub 2001 Feb 21.

Involvement of fibronectin type II repeats in the efficient inhibition of gelatinases A and B by long-chain unsaturated fatty acids.

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CNRS FRE 2260, IFR 53 Biomolecules, Faculty of Medicine, 51 Rue Cognacq Jay, F-51100 Reims, France.


The matrix metalloproteinases gelatinase A (MMP-2) and gelatinase B (MMP-9) are implicated in the physiological and pathological breakdown of several extracellular matrix proteins. In the present study, we show that long-chain fatty acids (e.g. oleic acid, elaidic acid, and cis- and trans-parinaric acids) inhibit gelatinase A as well as gelatinase B with K(i) values in the micromolar range but had only weak inhibitory effect on collagenase-1 (MMP-1), as assessed using synthetic or natural substrates. The inhibition of gelatinases depended on fatty acid chain length (with C18 > C16, C14, and C10), and the presence of unsaturations increased their inhibitory capacity on both types of gelatinase. Ex vivo experiments on human skin tissue sections have shown that micromolar concentrations of a long-chain unsaturated fatty acid (elaidic acid) protect collagen and elastin fibers against degradation by gelatinases A and B, respectively. In order to understand why gelatinases are more susceptible than collagenase-1 to inhibition by long-chain fatty acids, the possible role of the fibronectin-like domain (a domain unique to gelatinases) in binding inhibitory fatty acids was investigated. Affinity and kinetic studies with a recombinant fibronectin-like domain of gelatinase A and with a recombinant mutant of gelatinase A from which this domain had been deleted pointed to an interaction of long-chain fatty acids with the fibronectin-like domain of the protease. Surface plasmon resonance studies on the interaction of long-chain fatty acids with the three individual type II modules of the fibronectin-like domain of gelatinase A revealed that the first type II module is primarily responsible for binding these compounds.

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