O-glycosylation regulates autolysis of cellular membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP)

Albert G. Remacle, Alexei V. Chekanov, Vladislav S. Golubkov, Alexei Y. Savinov, Dmitri V. Rozanov, Alex Y. Strongin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


MT1-MMP is a key enzyme in cancer cell invasion and metastasis. The activity of cellular MT1-MMP is regulated by furin-like proprotein convertases, TIMPs, shedding, autoproteolysis, dimerization, exocytosis, endocytosis, and recycling. Our data demonstrate that, in addition to these already known mechanisms, MT1-MMPis regulated by O-glycosylation of its hinge region. Insignificant autolytic degradation is characteristic for naturally expressed, glycosylated, MT1-MMP. In turn, extensive autolytic degradation, which leads to the inactivation of the protease and the generation of its C-terminal membrane-tethered degraded species, is a feature of overexpressed MT1-MMP. We have determined that incomplete glycosylation stimulates extensive autocatalytic degradation and self-inactivation of MT1-MMP. Self-proteolysis commences during the secretory process of MT1-MMP through the cell compartment to the plasma membrane. The strongly negatively charged sialic acid is the most important functional moiety of the glycopart of MT1-MMP. We hypothesize that sialic acid of the O-glycosylation cassette restricts the access of the catalytic domain to the hinge region and to the autolytic cleavage site and protects MT1-MMP from autolysis. Overall, our results point out that there is a delicate balance between glycosylation and self-proteolysis of MT1-MMP in cancer cells and that when this balance is upset the catalytically potent MT1-MMP pool is self-proteolyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16897-16905
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 23 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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