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Drug Discov Today. 2001 May 1;6(9):478-482.

Matrix metalloproteinases in cancer invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis.

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Dept of Medicine and Research VAMC Northport and the Divisions of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine and Medical Oncology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794, New York, NY, USA


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteinases that play an important role in cancer as well as in numerous other diseases. In this article, we summarize the current views on the role of MMPs in cancer with respect to invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. A positive correlation between tumor progression and the expression of multiple MMP family members in tumor tissues has been demonstrated in numerous human and animal studies. It has been assumed that cancer cells are responsible for producing the MMPs in human tumors. However, recent evidence suggests that tumor cells have docking sites that bind stromal-cell-secreted MMPs. Furthermore, the role of MMPs produced by endothelial cells, especially MMP-2 and MT1-MMP, appear to be crucial for tumor angiogenesis, which is a requirement for cancer growth and dissemination.

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