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Cancer Res. 2004 Oct 1;64(19):7058-64.

Cleavage of lumican by membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase-1 abrogates this proteoglycan-mediated suppression of tumor cell colony formation in soft agar.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Virology and Oncology and Center for the Development of Molecular Target Drugs, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.


The small leucine-rich proteoglycan lumican was identified from a human placenta cDNA library by the expression cloning method as a gene product that interacts with membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MT1-MMP). Coexpression of MT1-MMP with lumican in HEK293T cells reduced the concentration of lumican secreted into culture medium, and this reduction was abolished by addition of the MMP inhibitor BB94. Lumican protein from bovine cornea and recombinant lumican core protein fused to glutathione S-transferase was shown to be cleaved at multiple sites by recombinant MT1-MMP. Transient expression of lumican in HEK293 cells induced expression of tumor suppressor gene product p21/Waf-1, which was abrogated by the coexpression of MT1-MMP concomitant with a reduction in lumican concentration in culture medium. Stable expression of lumican in HeLa cells induced expression of p21 and reduction of colony formation in soft agar, which were both abolished by the expression of MT1-MMP. HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells stably transfected with the lumican cDNA (HT1080/Lum), which express endogenous MT1-MMP, secreted moderate levels of lumican; however, treatment of HT1080/Lum cells with BB94 resulted in accumulation of lumican in culture medium. The expression levels of p21 in HT1080/Lum were proportional to the concentration of secreted lumican and showed reverse corelation with colony formation in soft agar. These results suggest that MT1-MMP abrogates lumican-mediated suppression of tumor cell colony formation in soft agar by degrading this proteoglycan, which down-regulates it through the induction of p21.

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