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Chem Biol. 2006 Apr;13(4):379-86.

Design and characterization of a metalloproteinase inhibitor-tethered resin for the detection of active MMPs in biological samples.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and The Walther Cancer Research Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), zinc-dependent endopeptidases, are implicated in tumor progression. We describe herein the development of a resin-immobilized, broad-spectrum synthetic MMP inhibitor for selective binding of the active forms of MMPs from different experimental samples. We confirmed the activity-based binding of MMPs to the inhibitor-tethered resin with purified human recombinant MMP-2, -9, and -14, samples of cultured cells, and tissue extracts. Our results show that only the free active MMPs, and not the zymogens or MMP/TIMP (enzyme-protein inhibitor) complexes, bound specifically to the resin. In our comparison of benign and carcinoma tissue extracts, we detected active MMP-2 and MMP-14 forms only in the cancerous tissue samples, indicating that a pool of the tumor MMPs is free of endogenous inhibitors (TIMPs), and is thus likely to contribute to proteolytic events that precipitate tumor metastasis.

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