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Clin Cancer Res. 1999 Dec;5(12):4105-10.

Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and MMP-2 immunolocalization in human prostate: change in cellular localization associated with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.

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Department of Urology, Wayne State University and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is a known activator of latent MMP-2 (pro-MMP-2), and increased MMP-2 expression has been associated with tumor aggressiveness in prostate cancer. However, expression of MT1-MMP in human prostate tissue has not been described. We investigated the expression and immunolocalization of MT1-MMP and MMP-2 in the epithelial components of benign prostate epithelium, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), and prostate cancer. Tissue sections from the peripheral zone of 50 prostates (radical prostatectomy specimens) were chosen based on their containing benign glands, HGPIN, and prostate cancer glands. All 50 sections were immunostained for MT1-MMP and MMP-2 and were evaluated for staining pattern, uniformity, and intensity. Western blotting and gelatin zymography were done to confirm expression of MT1-MMP and activity of MMP-2, respectively. Comparisons were made between benign epithelium, HGPIN, and cancer. In benign glands, basal cells (BCs) uniformly stained intensely for MT1-MMP, whereas secretory cells (SCs) were rarely positive (P < 0.0001). Conversely in HGPIN, SCs showed consistent cytoplasmic staining (P < 0.0001). In cancer cells, staining was heterogeneous and varied from no staining to very intense staining in select glands. MMP-2 in normal tissue stained both BCs and the apical region of SCs, whereas in HGPIN, staining was observed in the SC in a predominantly cytoplasmic pattern. Similar to MT1-MMP, staining in cancer tissue for MMP-2 was heterogeneous; however, there was a significant association between the pattern of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP staining within the epithelial components of the cancer glands in individual specimens (P < 0.001). Finally, MMP-2 and MT1-MMP were confirmed to be expressed in the prostate tissues by gelatin zymography and Western blotting. In conclusion, we found that consistent changes in localization and intracellular distribution of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP were associated with the transition from benign prostate epithelium to HGPIN, suggesting that regulation of these enzymes is altered during the earliest stages of prostate cancer.

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