Miekus, N., et al. MMP-14 degrades tropoelastin and elastin. 165, 32-39
Matrix metalloproteinases are a class of enzymes, which degrade extracellular matrix components such as collagens, elastin, laminin or fibronectin. So far, four matrix metalloproteinases have been shown to degrade elastin and its precursor tropoelastin, namely matrix metalloproteinase-2, -7, -9 and -12. This study focuses on investigating the elastinolytic capability of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase, also known as matrix metalloproteinase-14. We digested recombinant human tropoelastin and human skin elastin with matrix metalloproteinase-14 and analyzed the peptide mixtures using complementary mass spectrometric techniques and bioinformatics tools. The results and additional molecular docking studies show that matrix metalloproteinase-14 cleaves tropoelastin as well as elastin. While tropoelastin was well degraded, fewer cleavages occurred in the highly cross-linked mature elastin. The study also provides insights into the cleavage preferences of the enzyme. Similar to cleavage preferences of matrix metalloproteinases-2, -7, -9 and -12, matrix metalloproteinase-14 prefers small and medium-sized hydrophobic residues including Gly, Ala, Leu and Val at cleavage site P1’. Pro, Gly and Ala were preferably found at P1-P4 and P2′-P4′ in both tropoelastin and elastin. Cleavage of mature skin elastin by matrix metalloproteinase-14 released a variety of bioactive elastin peptides, which indicates that the enzyme may play a role in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases that go along with elastin breakdown.