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Cancer Res. 2003 Oct 15;63(20):6758-62.

Direct activation of pro-matrix metalloproteinase-2 by leukolysin/membrane-type 6 matrix metalloproteinase/matrix metalloproteinase 25 at the asn(109)-Tyr bond.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Leukolysin/membrane-type 6 matrix metalloproteinase (leukolysin/MT6-MMP), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored neutrophil matrix metalloproteinase, is also abnormally expressed in brain cancer tissues. Yet, little is known about its role in cancer progression. Here we show that MT6-MMP is capable of activating proMMP-2, an enzyme implicated in tumor invasion and metastasis. Although MT6-MMP is only 10% as active as MT5-MMP in mediating proMMP-2 activation, it generates a higher ratio of mature/intermediate forms of MMP-2 than MT5-MMP. Consistently, purified CAT of MT6-MMP converts proMMP-2 into mostly the mature form. Using the catalytically inactive mutant MMP-2EA (the E404A mutant of proMMP-2), which cannot autocatalytically mature from the intermediate form into the mature one, we show that MT6-MMP cleaves not only the known MT-MMP-processing site at Asn(66)-Leu but also the previously unsuspected Asn(109)-Tyr to yield a fully mature molecule. Despite their difference in mediating proMMP-2 activation in transfected cells, the CAT of MT6-MMP appears to be as efficient as that of MT5-MMP in cleaving proMMP-2EA in buffer, suggesting that its CAT is a strong proMMP-2 activator. Indeed, the CAT of MT6-MMP can partially substitute the CAT of prototypical MT1-MMP in mediating proMMP-2 activation. Taken these facts together, we conclude that MT6-MMP may participate in tumor invasion and metastasis by directly converting proMMP-2 into active form.

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