The Collagenases or Matrix Metalloproteinases are collagen decomposing enzymes which are involved in normal and pathophysiological processes such as inflammation, metastasis and tumor growth. Collagenases are produced by many myeloid and non-myeloid cell types. A clear understanding of the cellular stimuli and control mechanisms of these enzymes may provide a key to the cause and treatment of matrix metalloproteinase-associated pathologies.
MMP-13 (collagenase 3) is a newly discovered matrix metalloproteinase found in various tissues, such as malignant tumors, osteoarthritic cartilage, rheumatoid synovium and wounds. MMP-13 production in chondrocytes and synoviocytes is up-regulated by stimulation with inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1, TNF and retinoic acid.(1) MMP-13 has been shown to degrade types I and II, although the degradation of type II collagen occurs approximately 10 times faster than that of type I collagen (2).
Although typical alpha and beta collagen fragments are produced as with MMP-1 (collagenase 1), MMP-13 generates a second cleavage of type II collagen that removes three amino acids from the amino terminus of the