Adult human keratinocytes migrating over nonviable dermal collagen produce collagenolytic enzymes that degrade type I and type IV collagen

J Invest Dermatol. 1986 Apr;86(4):418-23. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12285689.


Human adult keratinocytes migrating on a nonviable dermal substrate in cultures without fibroblasts induce thinning and degradation of the collagen substrate beneath the migrating epithelium. Further, unconcentrated conditioned medium from the cultures exhibit collagenolytic activity against both type I and type IV collagen which is inhibited by EDTA but not by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride or N-ethylmaleimide. Since the migrating epithelium and dermal substrate do not contain fibroblasts, this study shows that migratory keratinocytes in contact with interstitial collagen are capable of producing collagenases against type I and type IV collagen. Moreover, migratory keratinocytes appear to be similar to highly metastatic cells in their ability to degrade basement membrane collagen.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Culture Media
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / enzymology*
  • Epidermis / physiology
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Keratins
  • Microbial Collagenase / biosynthesis*
  • Microbial Collagenase / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Culture Media
  • Keratins
  • Collagen
  • Microbial Collagenase