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Neurosci Lett. 2007 May 29;419(2):172-7. Epub 2007 Apr 21.

SPARC upregulates MT1-MMP expression, MMP-2 activation, and the secretion and cleavage of galectin-3 in U87MG glioma cells.

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  • 1Hermelin Brain Tumor Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is highly expressed in human gliomas and promotes glioma invasion. We have shown by cDNA array analysis that SPARC upregulates membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) transcripts. To confirm these findings at the protein level and determine whether SPARC expression correlates with increased MMP activity, we used Western blot to assess the levels of MT1-MMP, and gelatin zymography to assess MMP-2 levels and activity. We also examined the expression, secretion, and cleavage of galectin-3, a target of MT1-MMP and MMP-2. Our data confirm that SPARC upregulates MT1-MMP levels and MMP-2 activity. There was also an increase in secreted galectin-3, as well as an increase in the proteolytically processed form of galectin-3. Previous studies have demonstrated that MT1-MMP, MMP-2, and galectin-3 are increased in gliomas. Our results suggest that their upregulation and activation may be a consequence of increased SPARC expression. These data provide a provisional mechanism whereby SPARC contributes to brain tumor invasion.

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