Matrix metalloproteinase-13 influences ERK signalling in articular rabbit chondrocytes

L. J. Raggatt, S. C. Jefcoat, I. Choudhury, S. Williams, M. Tiku, N. C. Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) is an extracellular MMP that cleaves type II collagen, the major protein component of cartilage, with high specificity and has been implicated in the pathology of osteoarthritis. The present study aimed to characterize the binding and internalization kinetics of MMP-13 in normal rabbit chondrocytes and whether MMP-13 affected cell signalling. Methods: Rabbit chondrocytes were used in [125I]-MMP-13 binding assays to investigate the MMP-13 binding kinetics and Western analysis allowed for the assessment of intracellular signalling cascades. Results: Rabbit chondrocytes were found to express the cartilage-specific genes aggrecan and type II collagen throughout their in vitro culture period. Appreciable specific cell-association of [125I]-MMP-13 was detected after 10 min of exposure to the ligand and equilibrium was obtained after 2 h. Binding of [125I]-MMP-13 to chondrocytes was specific and approached saturation at 75 nM. Internalization of MMP-13 was evident after 20 min, reached a maximum at 30 min and had returned to baseline by 90 min. Addition of receptor-associated protein (RAP) inhibited the internalization of MMP-13 indicating a likely role for low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP1) in this process. Interestingly the presence of MMP-13 induced phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) protein showing that there is initiation of a signalling process in response to MMP-13 being bound and internalized by rabbit chondrocytes. However, this activation does not involve the MMP-13 internalization receptor LRP1. Conclusion: These studies demonstrate and characterize the MMP-13 binding and internalization system in rabbit chondrocytes and indicate that MMP-13 may regulate the phenotype of the chondrocytes through this receptor system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-689
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Cartilage
  • ERK
  • LRP-1
  • MMP-13
  • Matrix metalloproteinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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