Distribution and activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 in skeletal muscle fibers Academic Article uri icon


  • A substantial intracellular localization of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) has been reported in cardiomyocytes, where it plays a role in the degradation of the contractile apparatus following ischemia-reperfusion injury. Whether MMP2 may have a similar function in skeletal muscle is unknown. This study determined that the absolute amount of MMP2 is similar in rat skeletal and cardiac muscle and human muscle (~10–18 nmol/kg muscle wet wt) but is ~50- to 100-fold less than the amount of calpain-1. We compared mechanically skinned muscle fibers, where the extracellular matrix (ECM) is completely removed, with intact fiber segments and found that ~30% of total MMP2 was associated with the ECM, whereas ~70% was inside the muscle fibers. Concordant with whole muscle fractionation, further separation of skinned fiber segments into cytosolic, membranous, and cytoskeletal and nuclear compartments indicated that ~57% of the intracellular MMP2 was freely diffusible, ~6% was associated with the membrane, and ~37% was bound within the fiber. Under native zymography conditions, only 10% of MMP2 became active upon prolonged (17 h) exposure to 20 μM Ca2+, a concentration that would fully activate calpain-1 in seconds to minutes; full activation of MMP2 would require ~1 mM Ca2+. Given the prevalence of intracellular MMP2 in skeletal muscle, it is necessary to investigate its function using physiological conditions, including isolation of any potential functional relevance of MMP2 from that of the abundant protease calpain-1.

publication date

  • 2019