Dynamic interdomain interactions contribute to the inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases by tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases

Albert G. Remacle, Sergey A. Shiryaev, Ilian A. Radichev, Dmitri V. Rozanov, Boguslaw Stec, Alex Y. Strongin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Because of their important function, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are promising drug targets in multiple diseases, including malignancies. The structure of MMPs includes a catalytic domain, a hinge, and a hemopexin domain (PEX), which are followed by a transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail domains or by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linker in membrane-type. MMPs (MT-MMPs). TIMPs-1, -2, -3, and -4 are potent natural regulators of the MMP activity. These are the inhibitory N-terminal and the non-inhibitory C-terminal structural domains in TIMPs. Based on our structural modeling, we hypothesized that steric clashes exist between the non-inhibitory C-terminal domain of TIMPs and the PEX of MMPs. Conversely, a certain mobility of the PEX relative to the catalytic domain is required to avoid these obstacles. Because of its exceedingly poor association constant and, in contrast with TIMP-2, TIMP-1 is inefficient against MT1-MMP. We specifically selected an MT1-MMP·TIMP-1 pair to test our hypothesis, because any improvement of the inhibitory potency would be readily recorded. We characterized the domain-swapped MT1-MMP chimeras in which the PEX of MMP-2 (that forms a complex with TIMP-2) and of MMP-9 (that forms a complex with TIMP-1) replaced the original PEX in the MT1-MMP structure. In contrast with the wild-type MT1-MMP, the diverse proteolytic activities of the swapped-PEX chimeras were then inhibited by both TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. Overall, our studies suggest that the structural parameters of both domains of TIMPs have to be taken into account for their re-engineering to harness the therapeutic in vivo potential of the novel TIMP-based MMP antagonists with constrained selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21002-21012
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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