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Int J Cancer. 2001 Jun 1;92(5):641-50.

AlphaVbeta6 integrin promotes invasion of squamous carcinoma cells through up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8L6, United Kingdom.


The integrin alphaVbeta6 is a fibronectin receptor, which is not detectable on normal epithelium but is neo-expressed in oral epithelial dysplasia and oral squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC), suggesting a role in promoting malignant behaviour and tumour progression. We used transfection and retroviral infection to create a panel of SCC cell lines expressing various levels of alphaVbeta6 to examine this possibility. We found that increased expression of alphaVbeta6 in malignant keratinocytes up-regulates MMP-9 and MMP-2 expression and promotes invasion in an MMP-9-dependent manner. Our results suggest a possible mechanism for the involvement of alphaVbeta6 in squamous carcinoma in vivo.

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