G Murphy, R Ward, RM Hembry, JJ Reynolds, K Kühn, K Tryggvason
The metalloproteinase 'gelatinase' stored in the granules of pig polymorphonuclear leucocytes has been purified in the latent form. The enzyme is secreted as an Mr 97,000 proenzyme that can be activated in the presence of 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA) by self-cleavage to generate lower-Mr species, of which an Mr 88,000 form was the most active. Trypsin-initiated activation generated different Mr gelatinases of much lower specific activity. Activation was slowed but not prevented by the presence of the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, TIMP. The activated gelatinase formed a stable complex (Mr 144,000) with TIMP, in a Zn2+- and Ca2+-dependent manner, and complex formation was inhibited by the presence of the substrate gelatin. Similar to the human granulocyte gelatinase, the organomercurial-activated pig enzyme degraded gelatin and TCA and TCB fragments of type I collagen, as well as elastin and types IV and V collagen. The degradation of type IV collagen was shown, both by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and by electron microscopic analysis, to generate 3/4 and 1/4 fragments as described for mouse tumour type IV collagenase. Furthermore, an antiserum raised to mouse type IV collagenase recognized the pig granulocyte gelatinase. An antiserum to the pig polymorphonuclear leucocyte gelatinase recognized other high-Mr gelatinases, including those from human granulocytes, pig monocytes and rabbit connective tissue cells, but not the Mr 72,000 enzyme from connective tissue cells. These data suggest that there are two distinct major forms of gelatinolytic activity that also cause specific cleavage of type IV collagen. These enzymes are associated with a wide variety of normal connective tissue and haemopoietic cells, as well as many tumour cells.