We investigated the effect of influenza A/Beijing/353/89 (H3N2) virus infection on the expression of type IV collagenase in two different types of epithelial cell. Depending on the cell line infected, the viral infection caused changes in the expression of type IV collagenase. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9; 92kDa) but not of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2; 72kDa) was stimulated in Vero cells. In MDCK cells, the MMP-2 production increased with the virus infection. According to the enzymatic activity revealed with zymography, the MMP-9 promoter activity rose by a factor of over 1788 in influenza A virus-infected Vero cells but not in MDCK cells. The tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase, TIMP-1, had increased slightly (2.3-fold) in Vero cells 48 hours after the infection, but in MDCK cells, influenza A virus had no effect on the TIMP-1 expression. In conclusion, the MMP-9 and -2 expression by influenza A virus infection are modulated at transcriptional level, depending on the epithelial cell line.