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Int J Cancer. 1999 Jul 19;82(2):268-73.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) regulates the expression of progelatinase B (MMP-9) in breast epithelial cells.

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Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play a major role in the mitogenic signal transduction pathway and are essential components of both growth and differentiation. Constitutive activation of the MAPK cascade is associated with the carcinogenesis and metastasis of human breast and renal cell carcinomas. The gelatinases B (MMP-9) and A (MMP-2) are 2 members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) family which are expressed in human cancers and thought to play a critical role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis. In a previous study, we have shown that EGF and amphiregulin upregulate MMP-9 in metastatic SKBR-3 cells but have no effect on MMP-2 secretion. We now investigated specific step(s) in EGF-induced signalling associated with regulation of cell proliferation and MMP-9 induction. EGF-induced signalling in SKBR-3 cells was blocked by relatively specific inhibitors either on ras (FPT inhibitor-1) or P13 kinase (Wortmannin) or by reduction in EGF-induced tyrosine kinase activity (RG 13022). Blocking these signalling pathways significantly inhibited of EGF-induced cell proliferation but only partially reduced in EGF-induced MMP-9 secretion. In contrast, when SKBR-3 cells were exposed to MEK inhibitor (PD 98059) or MAPK inhibitors (Apigenin or MAPK antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides), EGF-induced cell proliferation, MMP-9 induction and invasion through reconstituted basement membrane were significantly reduced. Our results suggest that interfering with MAPK activity may provide a novel means of controlling growth and invasiveness of tumors in which the signalling cascade is activated.

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