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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1992 Jul 1;84(13):1017-22.

Suppression of invasion by inducible expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) in B16-F10 melanoma cells.

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Department of Oncology, London Regional Cancer Centre, ON, Canada.



We have previously shown that down-modulation (i.e., by antisense expression vector) of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) in a noninvasive, nontumorigenic cell line led to an acquisition of an invasive, tumorigenic, and metastatic ability in these cells.


Our purpose was to examine whether increased levels of murine TIMP-1 can directly suppress the invasive ability of malignant cells.


Murine B16-F10 melanoma cells were transfected with an expression vector to overproduce TIMP-1. Among these transfectants, we isolated five clonal cell lines (2-5, 2-8, 2-10, 6-5, and 6-9) that showed upregulation (i.e., overexpression) of TIMP-1.


These cell lines had an increased basal level of TIMP-1 messenger RNA. TIMP-1 expression was under the control of the mouse metallothionein-I promoter, and four of these five clones (2-5, 2-8, 6-5, and 6-9) showed a threefold to 10-fold induction of TIMP-1 message when they were treated with 20 microM cadmium for 4 hours. An increase in TIMP-1 message led to an increase in TIMP-1 protein activity measured in the conditioned medium of clones 2-10 and 6-5. The invasive ability of the TIMP-1-upregulated cells was tested in a matrigel transwell invasion assay. All of the upregulated clones showed a significant reduction in their invasive ability, relative to the invasive ability of parental B16-F10 and the control 1-2 cell line; this reduction correlated with the level of TIMP-1 overexpression. Cadmium induction of TIMP-1 messenger RNA resulted in a further suppression of the invasive ability of the two inducible cell lines tested (i.e., 2-8 and 6-5).


Our data demonstrate that a specific upregulation of murine TIMP-1 expression in B16-F10 melanoma cells directly suppresses their invasive ability.

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