Author(s): Brinckerhoff CE, Rutter JL, Benbow U
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Abstract Degradation of the extracellular matrix is the sine qua non of tumor invasion and metastasis. Most of this degradation is mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a family of enzymes that, collectively, degrades the extracellular matrix. Although the basement membrane-degrading enzymes, MMP-2 and MMP-9, have been given considerable attention for their roles in invasion and metastasis, the interstitial collagenases, a subfamily of MMPs that cleaves the stromal collagens types I and III, have received relatively little recognition for their part in these processes. This subfamily is comprised of collagenase 1 (MMP-1), collagenase 3 (MMP-13), and the MT-MMPs, membrane-bound MMPs, and numerous reports over the last several years document the expression of these MMPs in a wide variety of advancing tumors. Of particular interest is a single nucleotide polymorphism in the MMP-1 promoter that increases the transcription of this gene and that is associated with melanoma and with ovarian and endometrial cancers. The collagenases can mediate tumor invasion through several mechanisms, which include constitutive production of enzyme by the tumor cells, induction of collagenase production in the neighboring stromal cells, and interactions between tumor/ stromal cells to induce collagenase production by one or both cell types. Thus, evidence indicates that elevated expression of the interstitial collagenases is associated with a poor prognosis in a variety of cancers, and therefore, these MMPs can serve as a marker of tumor progression.
This article was published in Clin Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis