Collagenase-1 complexes with alpha2-macroglobulin in the acute and chronic wound environments

J Invest Dermatol. 1998 May;110(5):771-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.1998.00192.x.


The purpose of this study was to examine the appearance and activation of collagenase-1 (MMP-1) in the wound environment. We found that MMP-1 accumulates in the fluid phase of the burn wound environment within 2 d of injury and reaches maximal levels by day 4. Two forms of the enzyme were evident; one that corresponded to proMMP-1 and another that corresponded to a group of high molecular mass (approximately 200 kDa and >200 kDa doublet) MMP-1 containing complexes. ProMMP-1 and MMP-1 containing complexes also occurred in wound fluid from venous stasis ulcers, but neither was detected in mastectomy fluid or in plasma. Levels of the proteinase inhibitor alpha2-macroglobulin in burn fluid and chronic ulcer wound fluid were almost as high as in plasma, and the high molecular mass MMP-1 containing complexes in burn fluid appeared to result from binding between alpha2-macroglobulin and activated MMP-1. These observations provide direct evidence that active MMP-1 in the fluid phase of the wound environment becomes complexed to alpha2-macroglobulin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Blood Physiological Phenomena
  • Body Fluids / metabolism
  • Burns / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Collagenases / chemistry
  • Collagenases / metabolism*
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1
  • Molecular Weight
  • Wounds and Injuries / metabolism*
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / metabolism*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • alpha-Macroglobulins
  • Collagenases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1