The digestion of type I collagen is an essential step in bone resorption. It is well established that osteoclasts solubilize the mineral phase of bone during the resorptive process, but the mechanism by which they degrade type I collagen, the major proteinaceous component of bone, is controversial. Differential screening of a human osteoclastoma cDNA library was performed to characterize genes specifically expressed in osteoclasts. A large number of cDNA clones obtained by this procedure were found to represent 92 kD type IV collagenase (gelatinase B; MMP-9, EC 126.96.36.199), as well as tartrate- resistant acid phosphatase. In situ hybridization localized mRNA for gelatinase B to multinucleated giant cells in human osteoclastomas. Gelatinase B immunoreactivity was demonstrated in giant cells from eight of eight osteoclastomas, osteoclasts in normal bone, and osteoclasts of Paget's disease by use of a polyclonal antiserum raised against a synthetic gelatinase B peptide. In contrast, no immunoreactivity for 72 kD type IV collagenase (gelatinase A; MMP-2, EC 188.8.131.52), which is the product of a separate gene, was detected in osteoclastomas or normal osteoclasts. We propose that the 92 kD type IV collagenase/gelatinase B plays an important role in the resorption of collagen during bone remodeling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine