21 Sep 2015 - Matrix metalloproteinase 14 is required for fibrous tissue expansion

Copyright © Wellcome trust centre for Cell-Matrix Research MMP14 is a known collagen-cleaving enzyme, which plays a key role in tendon development by releasing collagen fibrils from the cell surface and promoting the formation of new fibrils. Mice that are missing MMP14 have fewer collagen fibrils and weaker tissues. Our findings show that collagen fibril release does not occur via the collagenase activity of MMP14 but by cleavage of fibronectin, which lies at the cell-fibril interface.

Background: The extracellular matrix is a mixture of proteins, which surround cells in tissues, holds them together and provides structural support and function. In tendon the major structural protein is collagen, which exists as long parallel fibrils that allow the tissue to withstand high levels of strain.

Importance: A novel role for MMP14 in mediating the formation of collagen-rich ECM could offer a new approach to prevent the movement of cancer cells which use MMP14 to spread through the body.

Taylor, S.H., Yeung, C.C., Kalson, N.S., Lu, Y., Zigrino, P., Starborg, T., Warwood, S., Holmes, D.F., Canty-Laird, E.G., Mauch, C. and Kadler, K.E. (2015). Matrix metalloproteinase 14 is required for fibrous tissue expansion. eLife. 4, e09345. PubMed