Unveiling the surface epitopes that render tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 inactive against membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase

Meng Huee Lee, Magdalini Rapti, Gillian Murphy*

*Corresponding author for this work

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is a zinc-dependent, membrane-associated endoproteinase of the metzincin family. The enzyme regulates extracellular matrix remodeling and is capable of cleaving a wide variety of transmembrane proteins. The enzymatic activity of MT1-MMP is regulated by endogenous inhibitors, the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP). To date, four variants of mammalian TIMP have been identified. Whereas TIMP-2-4 are potent inhibitors against MT1-MMP, TIMP-1 displays negligible inhibitory activity against the enzyme. The rationale for such selectivity is hitherto unknown. Here we identify the surface epitopes that render TIMP-1 inactive against MT1-MMP. We show that TIMP-1 can be transformed into an active inhibitor against MT1-MMP by the mutation of a single residue, namely threonine 98 to leucine (T98L). The resultant mutant displayed inhibitory characteristics of a typical slow, tight binding inhibitor. The potency of the mutant could be further enhanced by the introduction of valine 4 to alanine (V4A) and proline 6 to valine (P6V) mutations. Indeed, the inhibitory profile of the triple mutant (V4A/P6V/T98L) is indistinguishable from those of other TIMPs. Our findings suggest that threonine 98 is critical in initiating MMP binding and complex stabilization. Our findings also provide a potential mechanistic explanation for MMP-TIMP selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40224-40230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

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