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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2003 Jun-Sep;22(2-3):129-43.

Role of pericellular proteolysis by membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase in cancer invasion and angiogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Cell Research, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is an integral membrane proteinase that is frequently expressed in malignant cancer cells and has potent invasion-promoting activity. When expressed on the cell surface, MT1-MMP degrades the extracellular matrix (ECM) barrier adjacent to the cells to maintain the migration route to traverse the tissue. But MT1-MMP is not just an enzyme that degrades ECM. MT1-MMP also introduces limited cleavage into proteins at the cell-ECM interspaces and converts their functions. The target molecules are ECM components, cell adhesion molecules, and latent forms of MMPs. Through these processing events MT1-MMP modulates the migratory and invasive behavior of the cells.

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