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1.  MMP-10 Is Overexpressed, Proteolytically Active, and a Potential Target for Therapeutic Intervention in Human Lung Carcinomas1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2004;6(6):777-785.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-mediated degradation of the extracellular matrix is a major factor for tumor development and expansion. This study analysed MMP-10 protein expression and activity in human lung tumors of various grade, stage, and type to address the relationship between MMP-10 and tumor characteristics and to evaluate MMP-10 as a therapeutic target in non small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Unlike the majority of MMPs, MMP-10 was located in the tumor mass as opposed to tumor stroma. MMP-10 protein was observed at low levels in normal human lung tissues and at significantly higher levels in all types of NSCLC. No correlation was observed between MMP-10 protein expression and tumor type, stage, or lymph node invasion. To discriminate between active and inactive forms of MMP-10 in samples of human NSCLC, we have developed an ex vivo fluorescent assay. Measurable MMP-10 activity was detected in 42 of 50 specimens of lung cancer and only 2 of 10 specimens of histologically normal lung tissue. No relationship was observed between MMP-10 activity levels and clinicopathologic characteristics. Our results suggest that MMP-10 is expressed and active at high levels in human NSCLC compared to normal lung tissues, and, as such, is a potential target for the development of novel therapeutics for lung cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC1550316  PMID: 15720804
Matrix metalloproteinase; MMP-10; non small cell lung carcinoma; tumor development; molecular target
2.  Determinants of extracellular matrix remodelling are differentially expressed in paediatric and adult dilated cardiomyopathy 
European Journal of Heart Failure  2010;13(3):271-277.
The left ventricular phenotype of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can appear similar in paediatric and adult patients. However, the aetiology of paediatric DCM is usually idiopathic, and often leads an aggressive clinical course. A structural underpinning of DCM is extracellular matrix changes, which are determined by a balance between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs). This study tested the hypothesis that different MMP/TIMP profiles occur in paediatric and adult DCM patients.
Methods and results
Left ventricular samples from paediatric (age 9 ± 5 years; n = 10) and adult (age 62 ± 3 years; n = 20) DCM (at time of transplant) were subjected to an MMP/TIMP multiplex array and immunoassay in order to measure the MMP subclasses; collagenases (MMP-8, -13), gelatinases (MMP-2, -9), stromelysin/matrilysin (MMP-3, -7), membrane type (MT1-MMP), as well as for the four known TIMPs. MMP-8 and -9 levels increased by over 150% (P < 0.05), whereas MMP-3 and -7 levels decreased by over 30% (P < 0.05) in paediatric DCM when compared with adult DCM. TIMP-1 and -2 levels increased two-fold (P < 0.05), but TIMP-3 fell by 41% (P < 0.05) in paediatric DCM. Myocardial levels of specific interleukins (IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-8) were increased by approximately 50% in paediatric DCM.
These unique findings demonstrated that a specific MMP/TIMP profile occurs in paediatric DCM when compared with adult DCM, and that local cytokine induction may contribute to this process. These distinct differences in the determinants of myocardial matrix structure and function may contribute to the natural history of DCM in children.
PMCID: PMC3041467  PMID: 21147820
Cardiomyopathy; Extracellular matrix; Matrix metalloproteinase; Paediatrics
3.  Co-culture of human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells and human dermal fibroblasts enhances the production of matrix metalloproteinases 1, 2 and 3 in fibroblasts. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;71(5):1039-1045.
No measurable amounts of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were produced by human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines MCF-7 and BT-20 in culture. When MCF-7 cells were co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts enhanced production of precursors of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase), MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin 1) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase type 1 (TIMP-1) was observed. Immunohistochemical studies indicated that these pro-MMPs originated primarily from the fibroblasts, suggesting that MCF-7 cells have a stimulatory effect on stromal cells to produce at least three pro-MMPs and TIMP-1. BT-20 cells also enhanced the production of pro-MMP-2 and TIMP-1 in the dermal fibroblasts, but not of pro-MMP-1 and pro-MMP-3. Normal mammary epithelial cells promoted only TIMP-1 production. To investigate further the stimulatory factors from MCF-7 cells, the conditioned medium and the cell membrane were prepared and examined. The cell membrane fraction enhanced the production of pro-MMP-1 and -3 and TIMP-1, but not of pro-MMP-2. The conditioned medium, on the other hand, augmented the production of all four proteins in the fibroblasts. These observations suggest that breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells in culture produce both soluble and membrane-bound factor(s) which stimulate the production of pro-MMPs and TIMP-1 in neighbouring stromal cells, but the factor(s) released into the medium and that associated with cell membranes are probably different. Such communication between the normal and malignant cell types may, in part, assist the cancer cells to invade and metastasise.
PMCID: PMC2033797  PMID: 7734296
4.  Production of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (92-kDa gelatinase) by human oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma in response to epidermal growth factor. 
British Journal of Cancer  1993;67(4):721-727.
We demonstrated that four human oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines (TE8, TE9, TE10 and TE11) produced matrix metalloproteinase-1 (proMMP-1/tissue collagenase), 2 (ProMMP-2/'type IV collagenase'), 3 (proMMP-3/stromelysin), and 9 (proMMP-9/92-kDa gelatinase) as members of a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, which degrades extracellular matrix macromolecules. Under normal culture conditions, in immunoblot analysis, proMMP-1 of M(r) = 53,00 was detected in one cell line (TE8), proMMP-2 of M(r) = 72,000 in three cell lines (TE9, TE10, and TE11), and proMMP-3 of M(r) = 57,000 in all four cell lines. In addition to these enzymes, in enzymography, a gelatinolytic activity around M(r) = 92-kDa, likely to be proMMP-9, was detected in only one cell line (TE10) under normal culture conditions. When these cell lines were treated with epidermal growth factor (EGF), however, the agent stimulated three cell lines (TE8, TE10 and TE11) to produce proMMP-9 in a dose-dose dependent manner. Oesophageal carcinoma-conditioned medium stimulated oesophageal fibroblasts to produce proMMP-1, -2, and -3, suggesting that the interaction between oesophageal carcinoma and stromal fibroblasts also plays a role in the production of MMPs by the latter. Our present study illustrates that oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma produces a variety of MMPs including proMMP-1, -2, -3, and -9 in vitro, suggesting that the ability of MMP production of the tumour may play an important role in its malignant behaviour and that the production of proMMP-9 may be regulated by EGF via overexpression of EGF receptors.
PMCID: PMC1968375  PMID: 8471429
5.  Collagenolytic and gelatinolytic matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in basal cell carcinoma of skin: comparison with normal skin 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;82(3):657-665.
Tissue from 54 histologically-identified basal cell carcinomas of the skin was obtained at surgery and assayed using a combination of functional and immunochemical procedures for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) with collagenolytic activity and for MMPs with gelatinolytic activity. Collagenolytic enzymes included MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase), MMP-8 (neutrophil collagenase) and MMP-13 (collagenase-3). Gelatinolytic enzymes included MMP-2 (72-kDa gelatinase A/type IV collagenase) and MMP-9 (92-kDa gelatinase B/type IV collagenase). Inhibitors of MMP activity including tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 and -2 (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) were also assessed. All three collagenases and both gelatinases were detected immunochemically. MMP-1 appeared to be responsible for most of the functional collagenolytic activity while gelatinolytic activity reflected both MMP-2 and MMP-9. MMP inhibitor activity was also present, and appeared, based on immunochemical procedures, to reflect the presence of TIMP-1 but not TIMP-2. As a group, tumours identified as having aggressive-growth histologic patterns were not distinguishable from basal cell carcinomas with less aggressive-growth histologic patterns. In normal skin, the same MMPs were detected by immunochemical means. However, only low to undetectable levels of collagenolytic and gelatinolytic activities were present. In contrast, MMP inhibitor activity was comparable to that seen in tumour tissue. In previous studies we have shown that exposure of normal skin to epidermal growth factor in organ culture induces MMP up-regulation and activation. This treatment concomitantly induces stromal invasion by the epithelium (Varani et al (1995) Am J Pathol146: 210–217; Zeigler et al (1996 b) Invasion Metastasis16: 11–18). Taken together with these previous data, the present findings allow us to conclude that the same profile of MMP/MMP inhibitors that is associated with stromal invasion in the organ culture model is expressed endogenously in basal cell carcinomas of skin. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363319  PMID: 10682680
interstitial collagenase; collagenase-3; tissue inhibitoral metalloproteinase invasion; fibroblast; epithelial cells; endothelial cells
6.  Analysis of 16 different matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1 to MMP-20) in the synovial membrane: different profiles in trauma and rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1999;58(11):691-697.
OBJECTIVE—To define the pattern of mRNA expression of all human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) described to date in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and traumatic synovial membrane, in order to differentiate between a physiological tissue remodelling pattern and that associated with inflammatory tissue destruction.
METHODS—Analysis of SwissProt protein and EMBL/GenBank nucleotide sequence banks, protein sequence alignment, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and nucleotide sequencing were used.
RESULTS—MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin-1), MMP-11 (stromelysin-3) and MMP-19 were constitutively expressed. MMP-1 (fibroblast type collagenase), MMP-9 (gelatinase B) and MMP-14 (MT1-MMP) were expressed in all RA, but only in 55-80% of trauma samples. MMP-13 (collagenase-3) and MMP-15 (MT2-MMP) were expressed exclusively in RA (80-90% of the samples). MMP-20 (enamelysin) was absent and MMP-8 (collagenase-2) was rarely found in RA or trauma. All other MMPs (-7, -10, -12, -16, -17) had an intermediate pattern of expression.
CONCLUSIONS—Some MMPs without interstitial collagenase activity seem to have a constitutive pattern of expression and probably participate in physiological synovial tissue remodelling. Some MMPs are exclusively associated to RA synovitis, for example, MMP-13, which preferentially degrades type II collagen and aggrecan, and MMP-15, which activates proMMP-2 and proMMP-13 and is involved in tumour necrosis factor α processing. This clear cut rheumatoid/inflammatory MMP profile, more complex than has been previously appreciated, may facilitate inflammatory tissue destruction in RA.

PMCID: PMC1752794  PMID: 10531073
7.  Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors as Investigative Tools in the Pathogenesis and Management of Vascular Disease 
Exs  2012;103:209-279.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that degrade various components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). MMPs could also regulate the activity of several non-ECM bioactive substrates, and consequently affect different cellular functions. Members of the MMPs family include collagenases, gelatinases, stromelysins, matrilysins, membrane-type MMPs and others. Pro-MMPs are cleaved into active MMPs, which in turn act on various substrates in the ECM and on the cell surface. MMPs play an important role in the regulation of numerous physiological processes including vascular remodeling and angiogenesis. MMPs may also be involved in vascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, and varicose veins. MMPs also play a role in the hemodynamic and vascular changes associated with pregnancy and preeclampsia. The role of MMPs is commonly assessed by measuring their gene expression, protein amount, and proteolyic activity using gel zymography. Because there are no specific activators of MMPs, MMP inhibitors are often used to investigate the role of MMPs in different physiologic processes and in the pathogenesis of specific diseases. MMP inhibitors include endogenous tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) and pharmacological inhibitors such as zinc chelators, doxycycline and marimastat. MMP inhibitors have been evaluated as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in cancer, autoimmune and cardiovascular disease. Although several MMP inhibitors have been synthesized and tested both experimentally and clinically, only on MMP inhibitor, i.e. doxycycline, is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is mainly due to the undesirable side effects of MMP inhibitors especially on the musculoskeletal system. While most experimental and clinical trials of MMP inhibitors have not demonstrated significant benefits, some trials still showed promising results. With the advent of new genetic and pharmacological tools, disease-specific MMP inhibitors with fewer undesirable effects are being developed and could be useful in the management of vascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3367802  PMID: 22642194
TIMP; endothelium; vascular smooth muscle; extracellular matrix; angiogenesis; atherosclerosis; hypertension; aneurysm; varicose veins; pregnancy; preeclampsia
8.  Matrix Metalloproteinases and their Inhibitors in Vascular Remodeling and Vascular Disease 
Biochemical pharmacology  2007;75(2):346-359.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic enzymes that degrade various components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Members of the MMP family include collagenases, gelatinases, stromelysins, matrilysins and membrane-type MMPs. ProMMPs are cleaved into active forms that promote degradation of ECM proteins. Also, recent evidence suggests direct or indirect effects of MMPs on ion channels in the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle, and on other mechanisms of vascular relaxation/contraction. Endogenous tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) reduce excessive proteolytic ECM degradation by MMPs. The balance between MMPs and TIMPs plays a major role in vascular remodeling, angiogenesis, and the uterine and systemic vasodilation during normal pregnancy. An imbalance in the MMPs/TIMPs activity ratio may underlie the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as abdominal aortic aneurysm, varicose veins, hypertension and preeclampsia. Downregulation of MMPs using genetic manipulations of endogenous TIMPs, or synthetic pharmacological inhibitors such as BB-94 (Batimastat) and doxycycline, and Ro-28-2653, a more specific inhibitor of gelatinases and membrane type 1-MMP, could be beneficial in reducing the MMP-mediated vascular dysfunction and the progressive vessel wall damage associated with vascular disease.
PMCID: PMC2254136  PMID: 17678629
MMP; TIMP; blood vessels; extracellular matrix; aneurysm; varicose veins
9.  Detection of circulating vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in non-small cell lung cancer using Luminex multiplex technology 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(2):499-506.
It has been previously reported that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 are important for the occurrence and development of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The present study was designed to detect the serum levels of VEGF and MMP-9 in NSCLC, and to explore their diagnostic and prognostic values. A total of 543 cases were involved, of which 332 were NSCLC (272 cases in the pretreatment group and 60 cases in the postoperative group), 91 were patients with benign lung diseases and 120 were healthy controls. The serum levels of VEGF and MMP-9 were determined by Luminex multiplex technology. The serum levels of VEGF and MMP-9 were found to be significantly higher in the pretreatment group than those in the patients with benign lung diseases and healthy controls (VEGF, P<0.0001; MMP-9, P<0.0001). Compared with the pretreatment group, the serum levels of VEGF and MMP-9 in the postoperative group were significantly decreased (VEGF, P=0.005; MMP-9, P=0.002), and the levels of VEGF and MMP-9 in the pretreatment group of patients with stages III and IV were higher than those with stages I and II (VEGF, P<0.0001; MMP-9, P=0.021). In addition, the levels of VEGF and MMP-9 were found to closely correlate with lymph node metastasis (VEGF, P<0.0001; MMP-9, P<0.0001) in the pretreatment group, while being independent of other clinicopathological parameters (P>0.05). Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between the serum levels of VEGF and MMP-9 (r=0.159; P=0.009). A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that the diagnostic value of MMP-9 was higher than that of VEGF in the pretreatment group. The log-rank test indicated that the inoperable NSCLC patients with low levels of VEGF exhibited a significantly longer overall survival time than those with high VEGF levels (P<0.0001). Additionally, the serum levels of VEGF and lymph node metastasis were identified as independent prognostic factors of the inoperable NSCLC patients in a multivariate Cox regression analysis (P<0.05). These results indicated that VEGF and MMP-9 may be potential biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3881935  PMID: 24396477
Luminex; vascular endothelial growth factor; matrix metalloproteinase-9; non-small cell lung cancer
10.  Regulation of Cell Invasion and Morphogenesis in a Three-Dimensional Type I Collagen Matrix by Membrane-Type Matrix Metalloproteinases 1, 2, and 3 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(6):1309-1323.
During tissue-invasive events, migrating cells penetrate type I collagen-rich interstitial tissues by mobilizing undefined proteolytic enzymes. To screen for members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family that mediate collagen-invasive activity, an in vitro model system was developed wherein MDCK cells were stably transfected to overexpress each of ten different MMPs that have been linked to matrix remodeling states. MDCK cells were then stimulated with scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor (SF/HGF) to initiate invasion and tubulogenesis atop either type I collagen or interstitial stroma to determine the ability of MMPs to accelerate, modify, or disrupt morphogenic responses. Neither secreted collagenases (MMP-1 and MMP-13), gelatinases (gelatinase A or B), stromelysins (MMP-3 and MMP-11), or matrilysin (MMP-7) affected SF/HGF-induced responses. By contrast, the membrane-anchored metalloproteinases, membrane-type 1 MMP, membrane-type 2 MMP, and membrane-type 3 MMP (MT1-, MT2-, and MT3-MMP) each modified the morphogenic program. Of the three MT-MMPs tested, only MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP were able to directly confer invasion-incompetent cells with the ability to penetrate type I collagen matrices. MT-MMP–dependent invasion proceeded independently of proMMP-2 activation, but required the enzymes to be membrane-anchored to the cell surface. These findings demonstrate that MT-MMP–expressing cells can penetrate and remodel type I collagen-rich tissues by using membrane-anchored metalloproteinases as pericellular collagenases.
PMCID: PMC2175112  PMID: 10851027
collagen; metalloproteinases; scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor; mock; tubulogenesis
11.  MMP-9 Supplied by Bone Marrow–Derived Cells Contributes to Skin Carcinogenesis 
Cell  2000;103(3):481-490.
The matrix metalloproteinase MMP-9/gelatinase B is upregulated in angiogenic dysplasias and invasive cancers of the epidermis in a mouse model of multistage tumorigenesis elicited by HPV16 oncogenes. Transgenic mice lacking MMP-9 show reduced keratinocyte hyperproliferation at all neoplastic stages and a decreased incidence of invasive tumors. Yet those carcinomas that do arise in the absence of MMP-9 exhibit a greater loss of keratinocyte differentiation, indicative of a more aggressive and higher grade tumor. Notably, MMP-9 is predominantly expressed in neutrophils, macrophages, and mast cells, rather than in oncogene-positive neoplastic cells. Chimeric mice expressing MMP-9 only in cells of hematopoietic origin, produced by bone marrow transplantation, reconstitute the MMP-9-dependent contributions to squamous carcinogenesis. Thus, inflammatory cells can be coconspirators in carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2843102  PMID: 11081634
12.  Increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases and matrix degrading activity in vulnerable regions of human atherosclerotic plaques. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;94(6):2493-2503.
Dysregulated extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism may contribute to vascular remodeling during the development and complication of human atherosclerotic lesions. We investigated the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a family of enzymes that degrade ECM components in human atherosclerotic plaques (n = 30) and in uninvolved arterial specimens (n = 11). We studied members of all three MMP classes (interstitial collagenase, MMP-1; gelatinases, MMP-2 and MMP-9; and stromelysin, MMP-3) and their endogenous inhibitors (TIMPs 1 and 2) by immunocytochemistry, zymography, and immunoprecipitation. Normal arteries stained uniformly for 72-kD gelatinase and TIMPs. In contrast, plaques' shoulders and regions of foam cell accumulation displayed locally increased expression of 92-kD gelatinase, stromelysin, and interstitial collagenase. However, the mere presence of MMP does not establish their catalytic capacity, as the zymogens lack activity, and TIMPs may block activated MMPs. All plaque extracts contained activated forms of gelatinases determined zymographically and by degradation of 3H-collagen type IV. To test directly whether atheromata actually contain active matrix-degrading enzymes in situ, we devised a method which allows the detection and microscopic localization of MMP enzymatic activity directly in tissue sections. In situ zymography revealed gelatinolytic and caseinolytic activity in frozen sections of atherosclerotic but not of uninvolved arterial tissues. The MMP inhibitors, EDTA and 1,10-phenanthroline, as well as recombinant TIMP-1, reduced these activities which colocalized with regions of increased immunoreactive MMP expression, i.e., the shoulders, core, and microvasculature of the plaques. Focal overexpression of activated MMP may promote destabilization and complication of atherosclerotic plaques and provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC330083  PMID: 7989608
13.  Significance of semaphorin-3A and MMP-14 protein expression in non-small cell lung cancer 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(5):1395-1400.
Semaphorin-3A is a chemorepellent guidance protein that is crucial in regulating the tumor microenvironment. MMP-14, a membrane-anchored matrix metalloproteinase, is closely associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and cell migration in the progression of cancer metastasis. In the present study, the correlation between the expression levels of semaphorin-3A and MMP-14, and their subsequent prognostic significance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), was investigated. The expression of semaphorin-3A and MMP-14 protein levels was analyzed in 94 cases of NSCLC tissues and in 80 cases of normal lung tissues, using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Correlation and survival analysis were used to further investigate their association and prognostic value. The results revealed that the NSCLC tissues exhibited a lower expression of semaphorin-3A and a higher expression of MMP-14 than in the control lung tissues. The downregulation of semaphorin-3A and upregulation of MMP-14 may promote pleural invasion, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression. The expression of semaphorin-3A was correlated with the maximum diameter of tumor. There was a negative correlation between the protein expression levels of semaphorin-3A and MMP-14 in NSCLC tissues. Furthermore, we identified that the patients with lower expression of semaphorin-3A and a higher expression of MMP-14 had worse disease prognosis. The data suggest that lower expression of semaphorin-3A and a higher expression of MMP-14 may promote occurrence and development in NSCLC and that the combined detection of semaphorin-3A and MMP-14 protein may be a helpful tool in predicting the prognosis of NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3997704  PMID: 24765144
NSCLC; semaphorin-3A; MMP-14; biomarker; prognosis
14.  Detection of Functional Matrix Metalloproteinases by Zymography 
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-containing endopeptidases. They degrade proteins by cleavage of peptide bonds. More than twenty MMPs have been identified and are separated into six groups based on their structure and substrate specificity (collagenases, gelatinases, membrane type [MT-MMP], stromelysins, matrilysins, and others). MMPs play a critical role in cell invasion, cartilage degradation, tissue remodeling, wound healing, and embryogenesis. They therefore participate in both normal processes and in the pathogenesis of many diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease1-6. Here, we will focus on MMP-2 (gelatinase A, type IV collagenase), a widely expressed MMP. We will demonstrate how to detect MMP-2 in cell culture supernatants by zymography, a commonly used, simple, and yet very sensitive technique first described in 1980 by C. Heussen and E.B. Dowdle7-10. This technique is semi-quantitative, it can therefore be used to determine MMP levels in test samples when known concentrations of recombinant MMP are loaded on the same gel11.
Solutions containing MMPs (e.g. cell culture supernatants, urine, or serum) are loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS; to linearize the proteins) and gelatin (substrate for MMP-2). The sample buffer is designed to increase sample viscosity (to facilitate gel loading), provide a tracking dye (bromophenol blue; to monitor sample migration), provide denaturing molecules (to linearize proteins), and control the pH of the sample. Proteins are then allowed to migrate under an electric current in a running buffer designed to provide a constant migration rate. The distance of migration is inversely correlated with the molecular weight of the protein (small proteins move faster through the gel than large proteins do and therefore migrate further down the gel). After migration, the gel is placed in a renaturing buffer to allow proteins to regain their tertiary structure, necessary for enzymatic activity. The gel is then placed in a developing buffer designed to allow the protease to digest its substrate. The developing buffer also contains p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA) to activate the non-proteolytic pro-MMPs into active MMPs. The next step consists of staining the substrate (gelatin in our example). After washing the excess dye off the gel, areas of protease digestion appear as clear bands. The clearer the band, the more concentrated the protease it contains. Band staining intensity can then be determined by densitometry, using a software such as ImageJ, allowing for sample comparison.
PMCID: PMC3159606  PMID: 21085107
15.  Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Inhibitors: Correlation with Invasion and Metastasis in Oral Cancer 
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in invasion and metastasis of various malignancies. The study evaluated a comprehensive profile of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and their inhibitors, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1), respectively in 50 controls and 75 patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Blood samples from controls and patients as well as malignant and adjacent normal tissues from the patients were collected. The study examined pro, active and total forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9 using zymography. Enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were carried out to evaluate protein levels and mRNA expression; respectively, for the MMPs and TIMPs. Plasma pro, active and total MMP-2, MMP-9 as well as TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were significantly higher in oral cancer patients as compared to the controls. mRNA expression of the MMPs and TIMPs was significantly higher in malignant tissues as compared to adjacent normal tissues. A significant positive correlation was observed between levels of proMMP-9 and active MMP-9 with differentiation, stage and infiltration. ProMMP-2 and active MMP-2 exhibited significant positive correlation with differentiation and lymph node involvement. The multivariate analysis of ELISA results revealed a significant positive correlation between MMP-2, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels with lymph node involvement, stage and differentiation. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis showed that the levels of MMPs and TIMPs have significant discriminatory efficacy to differentiate between controls and patients. The results indicate that MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 have significant clinical usefulness for oral cancer patients. Zymographic analysis is a simple, cost effective, rapid and sensitive alternative assay.
PMCID: PMC3001841  PMID: 21731196
MMPs; TIMPs; Oral cancer; Zymography; Metastasis; Invasion
16.  Tumor cell traffic through the extracellular matrix is controlled by the membrane-anchored collagenase MT1-MMP 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2004;167(4):769-781.
As cancer cells traverse collagen-rich extracellular matrix (ECM) barriers and intravasate, they adopt a fibroblast-like phenotype and engage undefined proteolytic cascades that mediate invasive activity. Herein, we find that fibroblasts and cancer cells express an indistinguishable pericellular collagenolytic activity that allows them to traverse the ECM. Using fibroblasts isolated from gene-targeted mice, a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)–dependent activity is identified that drives invasion independently of plasminogen, the gelatinase A/TIMP-2 axis, gelatinase B, collagenase-3, collagenase-2, or stromelysin-1. In contrast, deleting or suppressing expression of the membrane-tethered MMP, MT1-MMP, in fibroblasts or tumor cells results in a loss of collagenolytic and invasive activity in vitro or in vivo. Thus, MT1-MMP serves as the major cell-associated proteinase necessary to confer normal or neoplastic cells with invasive activity.
PMCID: PMC2172570  PMID: 15557125
17.  Resistance to Bleomycin-Induced Lung Fibrosis in MMP-8 Deficient Mice Is Mediated by Interleukin-10 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13242.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may have pro and antifibrotic roles within the lungs, due to its ability to modulate collagen turnover and immune mediators. MMP-8 is a collagenase that also cleaves a number of cytokines and chemokines.
Methodology and Principal Findings
To evaluate its relevance in lung fibrosis, wildtype and Mmp8−/− mice were treated with either intratracheal bleomycin or saline, and lungs were harvested at different time points. Fibrosis, collagen, collagenases, gelatinases, TGFβ and IL-10 were measured in lung tissue. Mmp8−/− mice developed less fibrosis than their wildtype counterparts. This was related to an increase in lung inflammatory cells, MMP-9 and IL-10 levels in these mutant animals. In vitro experiments showed that MMP-8 cleaves murine and human IL-10, and tissue from knockout animals showed decreased IL-10 processing. Additionally, lung fibroblasts from these mice were cultured in the presence of bleomycin and collagen, IL-10 and STAT3 activation (downstream signal in response to IL-10) measured by western blotting. In cell cultures, bleomycin increased collagen synthesis only in wildtype mice. Fibroblasts from knockout mice did not show increased collagen synthesis, but increased levels of unprocessed IL-10 and STAT3 phosphorylation. Blockade of IL-10 reverted this phenotype, increasing collagen in cultures.
According to these results, we conclude that the absence of MMP-8 has an antifibrotic effect by increasing IL-10 and propose that this metalloprotease could be a relevant modulator of IL-10 metabolism in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2951918  PMID: 20949050
18.  Inhibition of the Activities of Matrix Metalloproteinases 2, 8, and 9 by Chlorhexidine 
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a host cell-derived proteolytic enzyme family which plays a major role in tissue-destructive inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the inhibitory effect of chlorhexidine (CHX) on MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-9 (gelatinase B), and MMP-8 (collagenase 2) activity. Heat-denatured type I collagen (gelatin) was incubated with pure human MMP-2 or -9 activated with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA), and the proteolytic degradation of gelatin was monitored by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Coomassie blue staining. The effect of CHX on MMP-8 activity was also studied with a cellular model addressing the ability of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-triggered human peripheral blood neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes [PMNs]) to degrade native type I collagen. CHX inhibited the activities of both gelatinases (A and B), but MMP-2 appeared to be more sensitive than MMP-9. Adding calcium chloride to the assay mixtures almost completely prevented the inhibition of MMP-9 activity by CHX, while the inhibition of MMP-2 activity could be reversed only when CHX was used at a low concentration. This observation suggests that CHX may act via a cation-chelating mechanism. CHX dose-dependently inhibited collagenolytic activity of MMP-8 released by PMA-triggered PMNs. MMP-8 without APMA activation was inhibited clearly more efficiently than APMA-activated MMP-8. Our study suggests that the direct inhibition of the MMPs’ activities by CHX may represent a new valuable effect of this antimicrobial agent and explains, at least in part, the beneficial effects of CHX in the treatment of periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC103739  PMID: 10225852
19.  Expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1, -2 and -3 in squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;80(7):1087-1091.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) plays an important role in extracellular matrix degradation associated with cancer invasion. An expression of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase), MMP-2 (72-kDa type IV collagenase) and MMP-3 (stromelysin-1) was investigated in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and its precancerous condition, actinic keratosis (AK), using in situ hybridization techniques. MMP-1 mRNA was detected in tumour cells and/or in stromal cells in all cases of SCC, four of six AKs adjacent to SCC and four of 16 AKs. MMP-2 and MMP-3 mRNAs were detected in SCC but not in AK. The expression of MMP-3 correlated to that of MMP-1 (P = 0.03) localized at the tumour mass and stroma of the invasive area, while MMP-2 mRNA was detected widely throughout the stroma independent of MMP-1 expression. Our results indicated that the expression of MMP-1, -2 and -3 showed different localization patterns, suggesting a unique role of each MMP in tumour progression. Moreover, MMP-1 expression could be an early event in the development of SCC, and AK demonstrating MMP-1 mRNA, might be in a more advanced dysplastic state, progressing to SCC. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363037  PMID: 10362121
squamous cell carcinoma; actinic keratosis; in situ hybridization; matrix metalloproteinases; extracellular matrix; skin cancer
20.  Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Are Essential for Osteoclast Recruitment into Developing Long Bones 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;151(4):879-890.
Bone development requires the recruitment of osteoclast precursors from surrounding mesenchyme, thereby allowing the key events of bone growth such as marrow cavity formation, capillary invasion, and matrix remodeling. We demonstrate that mice deficient in gelatinase B/matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 exhibit a delay in osteoclast recruitment. Histological analysis and specialized invasion and bone resorption models show that MMP-9 is specifically required for the invasion of osteoclasts and endothelial cells into the discontinuously mineralized hypertrophic cartilage that fills the core of the diaphysis. However, MMPs other than MMP-9 are required for the passage of the cells through unmineralized type I collagen of the nascent bone collar, and play a role in resorption of mineralized matrix. MMP-9 stimulates the solubilization of unmineralized cartilage by MMP-13, a collagenase highly expressed in hypertrophic cartilage before osteoclast invasion. Hypertrophic cartilage also expresses vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which binds to extracellular matrix and is made bioavailable by MMP-9 (Bergers, G., R. Brekken, G. McMahon, T.H. Vu, T. Itoh, K. Tamaki, K. Tanzawa, P. Thorpe, S. Itohara, Z. Werb, and D. Hanahan. 2000. Nat. Cell Biol. 2:737–744). We show that VEGF is a chemoattractant for osteoclasts. Moreover, invasion of osteoclasts into the hypertrophic cartilage requires VEGF because it is inhibited by blocking VEGF function. These observations identify specific actions of MMP-9 and VEGF that are critical for early bone development.
PMCID: PMC2169432  PMID: 11076971
matrix metalloproteinase; VEGF; osteoclast recruitment; endothelial cell; bone development
21.  Active synovial matrix metalloproteinase-2 is associated with radiographic erosions in patients with early synovitis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):145-153.
Serum and synovial tissue expression of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 and their molecular regulators, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 was examined in 28 patients with inflammatory early synovitis and 4 healthy volunteers and correlated with the presence of erosions in the patients. Immunohistological staining of MMP-2, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 localized to corresponding areas in the synovial lining layer and was almost absent in normal synovium. Patients with radiographic erosions had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than patients with no erosions, suggesting that activated MMP-2 levels in synovial tissue may be a marker for a more aggressive synovial lesion.
In cancer the gelatinases [matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9] have been shown to be associated with tissue invasion and metastatic disease. In patients with inflammatory arthritis the gelatinases are expressed in the synovial membrane, and have been implicated in synovial tissue invasion into adjacent cartilage and bone. It is hypothesized that an imbalance between the activators and inhibitors of the gelatinases results in higher levels of activity, enhanced local proteolysis, and bone erosion.
To determine whether the expression and activity levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their regulators MMP-14 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP), are associated with early erosion formation in patients with synovitis of recent onset.
Patients and method:
A subset of 66 patients was selected from a larger early synovitis cohort on the basis of tissue availability for the study of synovial tissue and serum gelatinase expression. Patients with peripheral joint synovitis of less than 1 years' duration were evaluated clinically and serologically on four visits over a period of 12 months. At the initial visit, patients underwent a synovial tissue biopsy of one swollen joint, and patients had radiographic evaluation of hands and feet initially and at 1year. Serum MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were determined, and synovial tissue was examined by immunohistology for the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their molecular regulators. Gelatinolytic activity for MMP-2 and MMP-9 was quantified using a sensitive, tissue-based gel zymography technique. Four healthy individuals underwent closed synovial biopsy and their synovial tissues were similarly analyzed.
Of the 66 patients studied, 45 fulfilled American College of Rheumatology criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with 32 (71%) being rheumatoid factor positive. Of the 21 non-RA patients, seven had a spondylarthropathy and 14 had undifferentiated arthritis. Radiographically, 12 of the RA patients had erosions at multiple sites by 1 year, whereas none of the non-RA patients had developed erosive disease of this extent. In the tissue, latent MMP-2 was widely expressed in the synovial lining layer and in areas of stromal proliferation in the sublining layer and stroma, whereas MMP-9 was expressed more sparsely and focally. MMP-14, TIMP-2, and MMP-2 were all detected in similar areas of the lining layer on consecutive histologic sections. Tissue expression of MMP-14, the activator for pro-MMP-2, was significantly higher in RA than in non-RA patients (8.4 ± 5 versus 3.7 ± 4 cells/high-power field; P = 0.009). In contrast, the expression of TIMP-2, an inhibitor of MMP-2, was lower in the RA than in the non-RA samples (25 ± 12 versus 39 ± 9 cells/high-power field; P = 0.01). Synovial tissue expressions of MMP-2, MMP-14, and TIMP-2 were virtually undetectable in normal synovial tissue samples. The synovial tissue samples of patients with erosive disease had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than did those of patients without erosions (Fig. 1). Tissue expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, however, did not correlate with the serum levels of these enzymes.
With the exception of serum MMP-2, which was not elevated over normal, serum levels of all of the other MMPs and TIMPs were elevated to varying degrees, and were not predictive of erosive disease. Interestingly, MMP-1 and C-reactive protein, both of which were associated with the presence of erosions, were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.42; P < 0.001).
MMP-2 and MMP-9 are thought to play an important role in the evolution of joint erosions in patients with an inflammatory arthritis. Most studies have concentrated on the contribution of MMP-9 to the synovitis, because synovial fluid and serum MMP-9 levels are markedly increased in inflammatory arthropathies. Previously reported serum levels of MMP-9 have varied widely. In the present sample of patients with synovitis of recent onset, serum MMP-9 levels were elevated in only 21%. Moreover, these elevations were not specific for RA, the tissue expression of MMP-9 was focal, and the levels of MMP-9 activity were not well correlated with early erosions. Although serum MMP-2 levels were not of prognostic value, high synovial tissue levels of MMP-2 activity were significantly correlated with the presence of early erosions. This may reflect augmented activation of MMP-2 by the relatively high levels of MMP-14 and low levels of TIMP-2 seen in these tissues. We were able to localize the components of this trimolecular complex to the synovial lining layer in consecutive tissue sections, a finding that is consistent with their colocalization.
In conclusion, we have provided evidence that active MMP-2 complexes are detectable in the inflamed RA synovium and may be involved in the development of early bony erosions. These results suggest that strategies to inhibit the activation of MMP-2 may have the potential for retarding or preventing early erosions in patients with inflammatory arthritis.
PMCID: PMC17808  PMID: 11062605
early synovitis; erosion; metalloproteinase; matrix metalloproteinase-2; rheumatoid arthritis
22.  Enhancement of membrane-type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) production and sequential activation of progelatinase A on human squamous carcinoma cells co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;80(8):1137-1143.
Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2)/gelatinase A plays an important role in tumour invasion and metastasis. Since MMP-2 is secreted as an inactive form (proMMP-2) from tumour and neighbouring stroma cells, the activation process is necessary to express the enzymic activity for degradation of extracellular matrix components. We herein reported that the activation of proMMP-2 was induced in human squamous carcinoma cells co-cultured with normal human dermal fibroblasts. When A431 cells were co-cultured with human fibroblasts at various cell ratios, 72-kDa proMMP-2 was converted to a 62-kDa active form through the appearance of a 64-kDa intermediate. The activation of proMMP-2 by co-culture was also observed in other carcinoma cell lines, HSC-4 and SAS, but not in normal human keratinocytes. We characterized by in vitro invasion assay that A431 cells in co-culture preferentially invaded through Matrigel and the increased invasive activity was inhibited by exogenously adding tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2. The augmented proMMP-2 activation by co-culture was achieved by the increase in membrane type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP) production along with that of its mRNA level. The predominant appearance of MT1-MMP was immunologically observed in A431 cells, but not human fibroblasts of the co-culture. Furthermore, epidermal growth factor (EGF) enhanced the co-culture-mediated proMMP-2 activation by increasing the production and gene expression of MT1-MMP, and thereby tumour invasive activity was further augmented. These results suggest that the cell–cell contact between carcinoma cells and normal fibroblasts enhances the production of MT1-MMP followed by sequential activation of proMMP-2 on the tumour cell surface, which may be closely implicated in tumour invasion in vivo. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2362364  PMID: 10376963
membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase; progelatinase A; co-culture; human squamous carcinoma cells; human dermal fibroblasts
23.  The Clinical Relevance of Stromal Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression in Ovarian Cancer 
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are proteolytic enzymes implicated in cancer progression and metastasis. We sought to determine the role of epithelial (tumor cell – derived) and stromal (host-derived) expression of MMPs in predicting the clinical outcome of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
Experimental Design
MMP-2, MMP-9, and membrane type 1 (MT1)-MMP expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry in 90 invasive EOCs, and samples were scored for epithelial and stromal staining. Results were correlated with clinicopathologic characteristics using univariate and multivariate analyses.
High expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP in tumor epithelium was detected in 54%, 97%, and 100% of cases, and in stromal compartments, in 38%, 70%, and 38% of cases, respectively. High stromal expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP was significantly associated with aggressive features such as high stage, high grade ascites, and positive lymph node status. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that high epithelial and stromal expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP were each significantly associated with shorter disease-specific survival (DSS; P < 0.01). On tree-structured survival analysis, patients with strong epithelial MT1-MMP expression had the shortest DSS, whereas patients with moderate epithelial MT1-MMP and low stromal MMP-9 expression had the longest DSS (P < 0.01). On multivariate analysis, high stromal expression of MMP-9 (P = 0.01)andMT1-MMP (P = 0.04), strong epithelial MT1-MMP (P = 0.01) and high stage (P = 0.04) were independent predictors of poor DSS.
Overexpression of stromal MMP-9 and MT1-MMP is independently associated with shorter DSS in EOC. Thus, host-derived MMPs are valuable predictors of clinical outcome in EOC.
PMCID: PMC3202606  PMID: 16551853
24.  Matrix metalloproteinases and their natural inhibitors in fibrovascular membranes of proliferative diabetic retinopathy 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2000;84(10):1091-1096.
AIM—To examine epiretinal membranes of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) for the presence of selective matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their natural inhibitors (TIMPs), in order to determine whether neovascularisation and fibrosis, characteristic of this complication of diabetes mellitus, are associated with specific anomalies of MMP or TIMP expression.
METHODS—The presence of selected MMPs and TIMPs was investigated in 24 fibrovascular epiretinal membranes of PDR, and the findings compared with that observed in 21 avascular epiretinal membranes of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and five normal retinas. Specimens were examined for deposition of interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), gelatinase A (MMP-2), gelatinase B (MMP-9), and three tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3).
RESULTS—The results showed that unlike normal retina, which constitutively expresses MMP-1 and TIMP-2, a large proportion of PDR membranes (> 62%) stained for MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3. There were no differences in the expression of these molecules when compared with PVR membranes. A characteristic staining for MMP-9 was observed within the perivascular matrix of PDR membranes, and there was a significant increase in TIMP-2 expression by PDR membranes (p= 0.036) when compared with PVR membranes.
CONCLUSIONS—The findings that MMPs involved in degradation of fibrovascular tissue matrix, as well as TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, are found in a large proportion of PDR membranes, and that their expression does not differ from that of PVR membranes, suggest the existence of common pathways of extracellular matrix degradation in pathological processes leading to retinal neovascularisation and fibrosis.

PMCID: PMC1723275  PMID: 11004090
25.  Release of Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 During Physiological Trafficking and Induced Mobilization of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells 
Stem Cells and Development  2012;22(9):1307-1318.
Previous studies indicate that the release of proteases, including the gelatinase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, from mature granulocytes plays a crucial role in cytokine-induced hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) mobilization. However, studies with MMP-9-deficient mice revealed that HSPC mobilization was normal in these animals, suggesting that additional proteases must be active at clinically relevant cytokine concentrations. In the present study, we provide evidence that the collagenase MMP-8 is involved in stem cell mobilization. A rapid release of MMP-8 from isolated neutrophil granulocytes can be observed during an in vitro culture. During granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-induced HSPC mobilization, highly elevated serum concentrations of MMP-8 were observed on days 4 to 6 of the mobilization regimen, concomitantly with elevated MMP-9 serum levels and higher numbers of circulating CD34+ cells. Elevated serum concentrations of both proteases were also found in umbilical cord blood serum. In functional assays, adhesion of HSPC to osteoblasts as an essential component of the endosteal stem cell niche is negatively influenced by MMP-8. The chemokine CXCL12, which is critically involved in stem cell trafficking, can be proteolytically processed by MMP-8 treatment. This degradation has a strong inhibitory influence on HSPC migration. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that MMP-8 can be directly involved in hematopoietic stem cell mobilization and trafficking.
PMCID: PMC3629847  PMID: 23259856

Results 1-25 (704756)