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Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) is a pleiotropic protein, promoting both tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting activities. While TIMP-1 is primarily known as an endogenous inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and thus associated with tumor cell invasion, clinical studies demonstrated increased expression of TIMP-1 and its association with poor prognosis in cancer. Non-MMP-inhibitory and oncogenic functions of TIMP-1 are mediated by induction of intracellular signaling via its cell surface receptor CD63, a tetraspanin. The present study investigates the structure-function relationship of TIMP-1 for its interaction with CD63, which may eventually help design a novel approach for targeting TIMP-1's pro-oncogenic activity without interfering its tumor suppressive MMP-inhibitory function. Importantly, our analysis includes TIMP-1/CD63 interactions at the cell surface of live cells. Here, we demonstrate that the 9 C-terminal amino acid residues of TIMP-1 and the large extracellular loop of CD63 are required for their interaction. Considering that the N-terminal half of TIMP-1 is sufficient for TIMP-1's MMP-inhibitory activity, we propose that those C-terminal amino acid residues are a potentially targetable motif of TIMP-1 oncogenic activity. As a proof of concept, we present the potential for the development of neutralizing antibodies against the C-terminal motif of TIMP-1 for disruption of TIMP-1 interaction with CD63 and the subsequent signal transduction.


Richard B Warner, Abdo J Najy, Young Suk Jung, Rafael Fridman, Seongho Kim, Hyeong-Reh Choi Kim. Establishment of Structure-Function Relationship of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 for Its Interaction with CD63: Implication for Cancer Therapy. Scientific reports. 2020 Feb 07;10(1):2099

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PMID: 32034211

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