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Clin Chim Acta. 2000 Feb 15;291(2):137-55.

An overview of collagenase-3 expression in malignant tumors and analysis of its potential value as a target in antitumor therapies.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006, Oviedo, Spain.


Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is a member of the matrix metalloproteinase family of endopeptidases that is characterized by a potent degrading activity against a wide spectrum of substrates. This enzyme was first detected in breast carcinomas but it is also overexpressed in a variety of malignant tumors including head and neck carcinomas, chondrosarcomas, skin carcinomas, and carcinomas of the female genital tract. Clinical studies have revealed that in all these tumors collagenase-3 expression is associated with invasive and metastatic tumors. Analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying its marked overexpression in malignant tumors has allowed to identify different cytokines, growth factors and tumor promoters with ability to up-regulate collagenase-3 expression in tumor cells, or in stromal fibroblasts surrounding epithelial tumor cells. The first strategies designed to target this enzyme are being developed, and are mainly directed to prepare synthetic inhibitors with ability to selectively block the collagenase-3 proteolytic activity. Alternatively, inhibitors of the signal transduction pathways mediating the expression of this enzyme by tumor cells may also be useful for collagenase-3 targeting. These studies together with those performed on other enzymes associated with tumor processes may lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies to control the progression and metastatic capacity of neoplastic cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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