A third metalloendopeptidase activity, gelatinase, has been completely separated from the collagenase and proteoglycanase activities of rabbit bone culture medium. Although the proteinase could not be purified to homogeneity in large amounts, it was possible to obtain accurate molecular weight values and activity after electrophoresis on non-reduced SDS/polyacrylamide gels. The latent form had an Mr of 65 000 which could be activated with 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate, APMA, to a form of Mr 61 000; under reducing conditions the latent and active forms had Mr of 72 000 and 65 000, respectively. Trypsin was a very poor activator of the latent enzyme. Gelatinase degraded gelatins derived from the interstitial collagens and it also had low activity on native types IV and V collagen and on insoluble elastin. Gelatinase acted synergistically with collagenase in degrading insoluble interstitial collagen. The specific mammalian tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases inhibited gelatinase by forming a stable inactive complex. Comparison of the properties of gelatinase with those of collagenase and proteoglycanase suggest that the three proteinases form a family which together are capable of degrading all the major macromolecules of connective tissue matrices.