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Hepatogastroenterology. 2007 Jan-Feb;54(73):167-71.

Overexpression of MT3-MMP in hepatocellular carcinoma correlates with capsular invasion.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.



Extracellular matrix-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are invariably up-regulated in epithelial cancers and are key agonists of angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. Recent studies have shown high levels of various MMPs, including MT1-MMP, MMP-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their involvement in tumor progression in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the expression and role of MT3-MMP in HCC remains unclear.


We examined the immunohistochemical expression of MT3-MMP in surgically resected HCCs (n=58), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related chronic hepatitis (n=34) and cirrhosis (n=24).


MT3-MMP expression was observed in all non-cancerous liver tissues. In HCCs, 52% (30/58) of patients showed high MT3-MMP expression while the remaining 48% (28/58) of patients showed low expression. A clinicopathological survey demonstrated a significant correlation between high MT3-MMP expression and capsular invasion of carcinoma (p = 0.034) although there was no correlation between high MT3-MMP expression in HCC and overall survival or disease-free survival.


MT3-MMP was expressed not only in chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, but also in HCC, and high MT3-MMP expression correlated significantly with capsular invasion of carcinoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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