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Biochem Cell Biol. 1996;74(6):777-84.

Regulation of matrilysin in the rat uterus.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101, USA.


Matrilysin was first discovered in the involuting rat uterus; it has also been known as uterine metalloproteinase, putative metalloproteinase (Pump-1), and matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP-7). It is the smallest member (28 kDa) of a family of 15 MMPs that together are able to degrade most of the macromolecules of the extracellular matrix. This family is briefly reviewed; all members are zinc metalloproteinases that occur in zymogen form with the active site zinc blocked by cysteine. Matrilysin can degrade a wide range of gelatins, proteoglycans, and glycoproteins of the matrix and can activate several other MMPs including collagenase. With respect to the uterus, matrilysin is localized to epithelial cells and varies in amount with the estrus cycle and is found in high levels during postpartum involution. There is evidence for a role in the last stage of cervical ripening and immediately postpartum. Induction of premature delivery by onapristone and prostaglandin E2 advances these changes in matrilysin. Regulation of the enzyme levels in the uterus are considered from four viewpoints: control of protein synthesis (particularly in response to hormones), activation of the proenzyme to functional protease, retention of enzyme by binding to matrix components such as heparan sulfate, and inhibition by natural inhibitors such as tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) and alpha 2-macroglobulin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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