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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2001 Nov;127(11):653-8.

Human cervical tumor cell (SiHa) surface alphavbeta3 integrin receptor has associated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-2) activity.

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Department of Receptor Biology and Tumor Metastasis, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Calcutta, India.



Integrins are transmembrane heterodimeric molecules that mediate cellular adhesion and are involved in different biological processes, such as tumor development and invasion of tumor cells. Matrixmetalloproteases (MMP) are a family of secreted or membrane proteins capable of digesting extracellular matrix. It has been shown that MMP-2 binds to alphavbeta3 integrin. Recent evidence suggests that a complex of membrane-type MMP (MT1-MMP) and tissue inhibitor of metalloptroteinase-2 (TIMP-2) participate in the activation of alphavbeta3-associated MMP-2. We investigated whether alphavbeta3 and MMP-2 are associated on the membranes of a human cell line, SiHa, and the possible involvement of MT1-MMP and TIMP-2 in the modulation of MMP-2 activity.


Immunoprecipitation of SiHa membrane extracts with monoclonal antibodies against alphav or MMP-2, and western blots of immunoprecipitates and serum-free conditioned media were performed. TIMP-2 in conditioned medium and MT1-MMP in the membrane fraction was assayed by western blot. Zymography of anti-alphav antibody immunoprecipitates and conditioned media were used to show gelatinolytic activity.


The coprecipitation of MMP-2 with alphavbeta3 by anti-alphav antibody is a strong indication that SiHa cell surface alphavbeta3 integrin is a receptor for MMP-2. Immunoblot assays show the expression of MT1-MMP on SiHa cell membranes and secreted TIMP-2 and pro-MMP-2 in the medium.


SiHa cells express all the molecules which are reported to form a complex to activate pro-MMP-2. Active MMP-2 associated with alphavbeta3 may regulate matrix degradation and thereby modulate directed motility of SiHa cells.

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