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Matrix Biol. 1995 Feb;14(6):479-88.

Identification and characterization of human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 and detection of three additional metalloproteinase inhibitor activities in extracellular matrix.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco, USA.


We have identified and characterized a novel human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP). It is found exclusively in the extracellular matrix of a large number of cultured human cells, including: primary embryonal kidney (293), neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH), normal whole embryo (FHs 173We), cervical carcinoma (HeLa S3), colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2), ileocecal adenocarcinoma (HCT-8), fibrosarcomas (SW 684 and Hs 913T) and normal gingival fibroblasts (GF11 and 1292). It was not detected in the conditioned media from any of these cell lines. Its apparent molecular mass of 24-25 kDa, as determined by its migration on protease-substrate gels, is intermediate between TIMP-1 (28.5 kDa) and TIMP-2 (21 kDa). Like the latter two proteins, human TIMP-3 contains intrachain disulfide bonds and displays altered electrophoretic mobility in the presence of beta-mercaptoethanol. The N-terminal, amino acid sequence of the protein is identical to that of chicken TIMP-3 (ChIMP-3), and its amino acid composition is similar. The protein is not N-glycosylated, as determined by treatment with N-glycosidase-F. Finally, it is recognized by antisera raised against pure ChIMP-3 but not by anti-human TIMP-1 or anti-human TIMP-2 antibodies. Based on these properties, we propose that this protein is TIMP-3 and is the human counterpart of ChIMP-3 (Pavloff et al., J. Biol. Chem. 267: 17321-17326, 1992). Two additional inhibitors detected in the matrix of human cell lines, designated inhibitor of metalloproteinase (IMP)-a and IMP-b, migrate with apparent masses of 29 kDa and 30 kDa. Both are N-glycosylated. A fourth inhibitor activity, which is smaller in mass than TIMP-3 and is also pecifically located in the matrix, is detectable in some cell lines.

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