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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1999 Mar;123(3):213-21.

Protease expression in dedifferentiated parosteal osteosarcoma.

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Institute of Pathology, Otto-von-Guericke Universtiy, Magdeburg, Germany.



Parosteal osteosarcoma with dedifferentiation provides a useful model to study tumor progression from an indolent locally aggressive neoplasm to highly lethal metastasizing malignancy. Up-regulation of the proteolytic enzymes participating in stromal degradation is known to promote invasive growth and metastasis of several human and experimental tumors.


The expression patterns of urokinasase plasminogen activator (u-PA), its cell-surface receptor (u-PAR), and cathepsin B were analyzed by immunohistochemical techniques in 11 cases of parosteal osteosarcoma and in 4 cases of dedifferentiated parosteal osteosarcoma.


Both enzymes and the receptor were coexpressed in most tumor cells of parosteal and dedifferentiated parosteal osteosarcoma. Their expression was strikingly enhanced in the dedifferentiated high-grade component of the tumors. Tumor cells involved in bone production (ie, those adjacent to tumor produced bone trabeculae) exhibited equally strong expression of u-PA, u-PAR, and cathepsin B, regardless of their histologic grade. Expression of u-PA, u-PAR, and cathepsin B was undetectable in the "normalized" cells embedded in the well-developed tumor bone trabeculae.


These data indicate that u-PA and its interacting molecules, such as u-PAR and cathepsin B, may have some contributory effects on the metastatic potential of tumor cells in dedifferentiated parosteal osteosarcoma.

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