The susceptibility of vitronectin (Vn) purified from human plasma to digestion by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) was examined. MMP-2, -3, -7 and -9 except for MMP-1 degraded Vn into multiple fragments. MMP-7 showed the highest activity to the substrate among these MMPs, digesting 8-, 30- and 44-fold more preferentially than MMP-2, -3 and -9, respectively. These data suggest that MMP-2, -3, -7 and -9 may be responsible for the pathological degradation and/or normal turnover of Vn.
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