Basic calcium phosphate crystals cause coordinate induction and secretion of collagenase and stromelysin

Geraldine M. McCarthy, Peter G. Mitchell, Janine A. Struve, Herman S. Cheung

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45 Scopus citations


Synovial fluid basic calcium phosphate crystals (BCP) are often found in severely degenerated joints. Crystalline BCP is a growth factor stimulating fibroblast mitogenesis and acting as a competence factor similar to platelet-derived growth factor. In human fibroblasts (HF), the synthesis of collagenase and stromelysin is coordinately induced after stimulation with a variety of cytokines and growth factors. We sought to determine whether BCP, like other growth factors, might induce proteases that would damage articular tissue. Northern blot analysis of mRNA for collagenase and stromelysin in HF stimulated with BCP was performed. Secreted enzymes were analysed by immunoblot using a monoclonal antibody to collagenase and by immunoprecipitation using a polyclonal antibody to stromelysin. Stromelysin activity was confirmed using casein substrate gels. A significant, dose-dependent accumulation of collagenase and stromelysin message was evident after 4 h and continued for at least 24 h in BCP-stimulated cultures. Fortynine and 54 kD proteins immunoreacting with collagenase antibody were identi-fied in the conditioned media (CM) from BCP-stimulated cultures while 50 and 55 kD proteins were identified by immunoprecipitation with stromelysin antibody. Collagenase activity was increased significantly in the CM from BCP treated cells; casein substrate gels showed casein degrading bands at molecular weights consistent with stromelysin. BCP stimulates coordinate induction of collagenase and stromelysin which may mediate the joint destruction associated with these crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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