Human fibroblast collagenase: Glycosylation and tissue-specific levels of enzyme synthesis

S. M. Wilhelm, A. Z. Eisen, M. Teter, S. D. Clark, A. Kronberger, G. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Human skin fibroblasts secrete collagenase as two proenzyme forms (57 and 52 kDa). The minor (57-kDa) proenzyme form is the result of a partial posttranslational modification of the major (52-kDa) proenzyme through the addition of N-linked complex oligosaccharides. Human endothelial cells as well as fibroblasts from human colon, cornea, gingiva, and lung also secrete collagenase in two forms indistinguishable from those of the skin fibroblast enzyme. In vitro tissue culture studies have shown that the level of constitutive synthesis of this fibroblast-type interstitial collagenase is tissue specific, varies widely, and correlates with the steady-state level of a single collagenase-specific mRNA of 2.5 kilobases. The tumor promoter, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, apparently blocks the control of collagenase synthesis resulting in a similarly high level of collagenase expression (≃3-7 μg of collagenase per 106 cells per 24 hr) in all examined cells. The constitutive level of synthesis of a 28-kDa collagenase inhibitor does not correlate with that of the enzyme. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate stimulates the production of this inhibitor that in turn modulates the activity of collagenase in the conditioned media. As a result, the apparent activity of the enzyme present in the medium does not accurately reflect the rate of its synthesis and secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3756-3760
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1986


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