The type IV collagenases/gelatinases matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 play a variety of important roles in both physiological and pathological processes and are regulated by various growth factors, including transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), in several cell types. Previous studies have suggested that cellular control of one or both collagenases can occur through direct transcriptional mechanisms and/or after secretion through proenzyme processing and interactions with metalloproteinase inhibitors. Using human prostate cancer cell lines, we have found that TGF-β1 induces the MMP-9 proenzyme; however, this induction does not result from direct effects on gene transcription but, instead, through a protein synthesis–requiring process leading to increased MMP-9 mRNA stability. In addition, we have examined levels of TGF-β1 regulation of MMP-2 in one prostate cancer cell line and found that TGF-β1 induces higher secreted levels of this collagenase through increased stability of the secreted 72-kDa proenzyme. These results identify two novel nontranscriptional pathways for the cellular regulation of MMP-9 and MMP-2 collagenase gene expression and activities
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