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Purification, characterization and inhibition of human skin collagenase

By David E. Woolley, Robert W. Glanville, Dennis R. Roberts and John M. Evanson


1. The neutral collagenase released into the culture medium by explants of human skin tissue was purified by ultrafiltration and column chromatography. The final enzyme preparation had a specific activity against thermally reconstituted collagen fibrils of 32μg of collagen degraded/min per mg of enzyme protein, representing a 266-fold increase over that of the culture medium. Electrophoresis in polyacrylamide disc gels showed it to migrate as a single protein band from which enzyme activity could be eluted. Chromatographic and polyacrylamide-gel-elution experiments provided no evidence for the existence of more than one active collagenase. 2. The molecular weight of the enzyme estimated from gel filtration and sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis was approx. 60000. The purified collagenase, having a pH optimum of 7.5–8.5, did not hydrolyse the synthetic collagen peptide 4-phenylazobenzyloxycarbonyl-Pro-Leu-Gly-Pro-d-Arg-OH and had no non-specific proteinase activity when examined against non-collagenous proteins. 3. It attacked undenatured collagen in solution at 25°C, producing the two characteristic products TC(A)(¾) and TC(B)(¼). Collagen types I, II and III were all cleaved in a similar manner by the enzyme at 25°C, but under similar conditions basement-membrane collagen appeared not to be susceptible to collagenase attack. At 37°C the enzyme attacked gelatin, producing initially three-quarter and one-quarter fragments of the α-chains, which were degraded further at a lower rate. As judged by the release of soluble hydroxyproline peptides and electron microscopy, the purified enzyme degraded insoluble collagen derived from human skin at 37°C, but at a rate much lower than that for reconstituted collagen fibrils. 4. Inhibition of the skin collagenase was obtained with EDTA, 1,10-phenanthroline, cysteine, dithiothreitol and sodium aurothiomaleate. Cartilage proteoglycans did not inhibit the enzyme. The serum proteins α(2)-macroglobulin and β(1)-anti-collagenase both inhibited the enzyme, but α(1)-anti-trypsin did not. 5. The physicochemical and enzymic properties of the skin enzyme are discussed in relation to those of other human collagenases

Topics: Enzymology
Year: 1978
DOI identifier: 10.1042/bj1690265
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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