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Int J Oncol. 1999 Feb;14(2):291-300.

Transcriptional regulation of MMP-9 expression in stromal cells of human giant cell tumor of bone by tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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  • 1Matrix Research Laboratory, Munroe Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5440, USA.


We determined whether certain factor(s) secreted by multinucleated giant cells, which is of monocyte/macrophage lineage in giant cell tumor of bone (GCT), regulate the induction of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression in mononucleated stromal cells. Our data derived using enzyme linked immunosorbant assays (ELISAs) suggest that the GCT cells in primary culture produce both MMP-9 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Further, the MMP-9 expression in GCT primary cultures was partially abrogated by neutralizing antibody to TNF-alpha, suggesting that TNF-alpha secretion by the multinucleated giant cells may be one of the factors responsible for the production of MMP-9 by the stromal cells in vivo. In order to confirm this we examined the role of TNF-alpha on the induction of MMP-9 expression in bone GCT stromal cells. These cells express MMP-2, but not MMP-9. However, treatment of these cells with TNF-alpha induced the expression of MMP-9 in a concentration-dependent manner. Kinetic experiments revealed that the secretion of MMP-9 peaked 12 h post TNF-alpha stimulation. Immunofluorescence studies confirmed the expression of MMP-9 after stimulation of GCT stromal cells with TNF-alpha. Further, TNF-alpha-induced MMP-9 expression was completely blocked with neutralizing antibody to TNF-alpha, thereby demonstrating the specificity. In addition, the induction of MMP-9 expression by TNF-alpha was completely abrogated in the presence of cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor, suggesting that de novo protein synthesis may be required. Nuclear run-on analysis demonstrated that treatment of GCT stromal cells significantly enhanced the MMP-9 gene transcription. Together, our data suggest that TNF-alpha secreted by the multinucleated giant cells up-regulates MMP-9 expression in GCT stromal cells by the induction of certain transcription factors, which in turn enhanced the rate of transcription of MMP-9 gene. These studies also suggest the existence of an essential cell-cell interaction in the regulation of MMP-9 expression in GCT.

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