Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 is the Major Collagenolytic Enzyme Responsible for Collagen Damage in UV-irradiated Human Skin

Meghan Brennan, Humaa Bhatti, Kamalakar C. Nerusu, Narasimharao Bhagavathula, Sewon Kang, Gary J. Fisher, James Varani, John J. Voorhees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Punch biopsies of human skin were obtained 1 day after irradiation with two minimal-erythema doses (MED) from either a UVB light source or a Solar Simulator and incubated in organ culture for 72 h. Organ culture fluids obtained at 24, 48 and 72 h were analyzed for collagenolytic activity and for reactivity with antibodies to matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1; interstitial collagenase) and MMP-13 (collagenase-3). High levels of collagenolytic activity were seen in organ culture fluid from skin exposed to either light source. MMP-1 was strongly induced in parallel, increasing from less than 100 ng/ml in organ culture fluid from control skin to approximately 1.1 μg/ml in culture fluid from UV-treated skin. Whereas most of the detectable MMP-1 in control culture fluid was represented by the latent form of the enzyme, approximately 50% of the enzyme was present as the active form in organ culture fluid of UV-exposed skin. In contrast, there was no detectable MMP-13 in control organ culture fluid and very little change after UV exposure (less than 100 ng/ml in both cases). Finally, neutralization studies with a blocking antibody to MMP-1 removed 95 ± 4% of the collagenolytic activity in the organ culture fluid from UV-treated skin. These findings strongly implicate MMP-1 rather than MMP-13 as the major collagenolytic enzyme responsible for collagen damage in photoaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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