A synergy between the catalytic and structural Zn(II) ions and the enzyme and substrate dynamics underlies the structure–function relationships of matrix metalloproteinase collagenolysis

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Department of Chemistry


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Zn(II) dependent endopeptidases involved in the degradation of collagen. Unbalanced collagen breakdown results in numerous pathological conditions, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and tumor growth and invasion. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) is a member of the MMPs family. The enzyme contains catalytic and structural Zn(II) ions. Despite many studies on the enzyme, there is little known about the synergy between the two Zn(II) metal ions and the enzyme and substrate dynamics in MMP-1 structure–function relationships. We performed a computational study of the MMP-1•triple-helical peptide (THP) enzyme•substrate complex to provide this missing insight. Our results revealed Zn(II) ions’ importance in modulating the long-range correlated motions in the MMP-1•THP complex. Overall, our results reveal the importance of the catalytic Zn(II) and the role of the structural Zn(II) ion in preserving the integrity of the enzyme active site and the overall enzyme–substrate complex synergy with the dynamics of the enzyme and the substrate. Notably, both Zn(II) sites participate in diverse networks of long-range correlated motions that involve the CAT and HPX domains and the THP substrate, thus exercising a complex role in the stability and functionality of the MMP-1•THP complex. Both the Zn(II) ions have a distinct impact on the structural stability and dynamics of the MMP-1•THP complex. The study shifts the paradigm from the “local role” of the Zn(II) ions with knowledge about their essential role in the long-range dynamics and stability of the overall enzyme•substrate (ES) complex. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry