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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Jun 30;878:141-9.

MMP-9 activity in urine from patients with various tumors, as measured by a novel MMP activity assay using modified urokinase as a substrate.

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Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-PG, Leiden, The Netherlands. R.Hanemaaijer@PG.TNO.NL


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in many pathologic processes, but their activities are difficult to determine since no simple specific and/or chromogenic substrate exists. We have developed a novel MMP activity assay using a modified urokinase as a substrate. Protein engineering enabled the plasmin activation site in this urokinase to be substituted by a specific activation site recognized by MMPs. In this way the MMP activity can be monitored via urokinase activity as measured by a simple chromogenic assay. The assay was made specific for MMP-9 by a capture step using MMP-9-specific antibodies that do not interfere with MMP-activity. This assay monitors the amount of active enzyme as well as the latent, but potentially active proform. Using this assay the levels of MMP-9 were investigated in urine from patients with various kinds of carcinoma. High levels of both active and latent MMP-9 were detected in urine from patients with carcinoma of the bladder, whereas hardly any activity was observed in urine from healthy controls. MMP-9 in urine was present in its intact form. Surprisingly, MMP-9 was also increased in the urine of patients with nonurogenital carcinoma. Therefore, measurement of urinary MMP-9 activity levels may be a convenient diagnostic tool for various types of carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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