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Int J Cancer. 1999 Jul 19;82(2):274-81.

Regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) by hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) in human glioma cells: HGF/SF enhances MMP-2 expression and activation accompanying up-regulation of membrane type-1 MMP.

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Second Department of Pathology, Miyazaki Medical College, Japan.


Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) contributes to the malignant progression of human gliomas. We investigated the effect of HGF/SF on matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), expressions of c-Met/HGF receptor-positive human glioblastoma cells. Treatment of U251 human glioblastoma cells with HGF/SF resulted in enhanced secretion of MMP-2 with an increased level of the active form. This was accompanied by enhanced expression (2.5-fold) of mRNA specific for MMP-2. The stimulatory effect of HGF/SF on MMP-2 expression did not occur in the presence of herbimycin A, a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor. MT1 -MMP, a cell-surface activator of proMMP-2, was also up-regulated by HGF/SF in a dose-dependent manner. By contrast, the level of TIMP- 1 mRNAs was not altered significantly and that of TIMP-2 was reduced mildly by the HGF/SF treatment, suggesting that HGF/SF may eventually modulate a balance between MMP-2 and TIMPs in favor of the proteinase activity in the glioma cell microenvironment. HGF/SF also stimulated MMP-2 expression of other glioblastoma cell lines. Since glioblastomas frequently co-express HGF/SF and its receptor, our results suggest that HGF/SF might contribute to the invasiveness of glioblastoma cells through autocrine induction of MMP-2 expression and activation.

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