The activity of a designer tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 against native membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) in a cell-based environment

Meng Huee Lee*, Susan Atkinson, Magdalini Rapti, Madeleine Handsley, Valerie Curry, Dylan Edwards, Gillian Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The surface-anchored membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) degrades a wide range of extracellular matrix components that includes collagens, laminins, fibronectin and the structural proteoglycan aggrecan. The enzyme modulates cell motility and plays an important role in tumour invasion and proliferation. We have previously designed a variant of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 bearing a triple mutation (V4A + P6V + T98L, or N-TIMP-1mt1) that forms tight binary complex with the soluble catalytic domain of MT1-MMP [M.H. Lee, M. Rapti, G. Murphy, J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003) 40224-40230]. Here, we report our latest findings on the cellular potency of this mutant against native MT1-MMP in cell-based environment. We show that N-TIMP-1mt1 is a highly potent inhibitor against the ectodomain form of MT1-MMP (Ki 9.53 nM) with potential for further development as a therapeutic agent. The mutant is devoid of pro-MMP-2-activating capability but is highly effective in blocking MT1-MMP-mediated FITC-labelled collagen and gelatin film degradation in HTC75 fibrosarcoma and MCF7 breast cancer models. Most encouragingly, N-TIMP-1mt1 is also effective against CD44 shedding in HTC75 cells and able to prevent tubule formation in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) in a 3D fibrin gel model. We are interested in the development of the TIMPs as therapeutic agents against MT1-MMP related disorders such as cancers. Our findings here indicate the potential for the design of selective TIMPs with refined specificity and possibility for future therapeutic application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Cell-based assays
  • MT1-MMP
  • Site directed mutagenesis
  • TIMP-1

Cite this