Author(s): Davies KJ, Davies KJ
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Abstract Breast cancer mortality is directly linked to metastatic spread. The metastatic cell must exhibit a complex phenotype that includes the capacity to escape from the primary tumour mass, invade the surrounding normal tissue, and penetrate into the circulation before proliferating in the parenchyma of distant organs to produce a metastasis. In the normal breast, cellular structures change cyclically in response to ovarian hormones leading to regulated cell proliferation and apoptosis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc dependent endopeptidases. Their primary function is degradation of proteins in the extracellular matrix to allow ductal progression through the basement membrane. A complex balance between matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors regulate these changes. These proteinases interact with cytokines, growth factors, and tumour necrosis factors to stimulate branching morphologies in normal breast tissues. In breast cancer this process is disrupted facilitating tumour progression and metastasis and inhibiting apoptosis increasing the life of the metastatic cells. This paper highlights the role of matrix metalloproteinases in cell progression through the breast stroma and reviews the complex relationships between the different proteinases and their inhibitors in relation to breast cancer cells as they metastasise.
This article was published in Int J Breast Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Orthopedic Oncology