Induction of MMP-9 mediated gelatinolytic activity in human monocytic cells by cell wall components of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Microb Pathog. 2000 Oct;29(4):231-44. doi: 10.1006/mpat.2000.0383.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection induces the expression of host matrix metalloIproteinases (MMPs) capable of tissue degradation. We show that infection of mice with Mtb results in differential expression of MMPs in the lung. MMP-9 activity increased by week 1 post-infection, while MMP-2 activity increased after week 2. RT-PCR analysis for gene expression of gelatinases and their respective inhibitors showed: a small increase in MMP-9 by week 1, no change in TIMP-1 and MMP-2, and a significant decrease in TIMP-2 by week 4. The increase in MMP-2 could be due to a decrease in TIMP-2 expression. Addition of 4-aminophenylmercuric acid to lung extracts increased MMP-9 activity, suggesting that its regulation could be due to endogenous activation by proteases. In vitro, attenuated and virulent Mtb strains equally induced MMP-9 expression in U937 monocytes. The inducer of MMP-9 in Mtb was present in culture filtrates, and was active after paraformaldehyde fixation. LAM stimulated MMP-9 expression in THP-1 cells, but not U937 cells. However, LAM-free extracts also induced MMP-9 activity in THP-1 cells. Fractionation of Mtb extracts by chromatography revealed fractions of 17 and 156 kDa with MMP-9 inducing activity. In conclusion, LAM and other components of Mtb induce the expression of MMP-9.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Wall / immunology
  • Chromatography
  • Female
  • Gelatin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / enzymology*
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / biosynthesis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / analysis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / biosynthesis*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / immunology
  • Phenylmercuric Acetate / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylmercuric Acetate / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2 / biosynthesis
  • Tuberculosis / metabolism*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • U937 Cells


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • lipoarabinomannan
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • 4-aminophenylmercuriacetate
  • Gelatin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Phenylmercuric Acetate