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Cancer Sci. 2004 Jan;95(1):25-31.

Inhibition of lymphangiogenesis-related properties of murine lymphatic endothelial cells and lymph node metastasis of lung cancer by the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor MMI270.

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Division of Pathogenic Biochemistry, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.


Based on a previous report on the effect of a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitory compound, MMI270, in regulating tumor-induced angiogenesis, as well as recent findings concerning functional correlations among tumor metastasis, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, we investigated the anti-metastatic efficacy of MMI270 in a murine model of lymph node metastasis of lung cancer, and analyzed whether this inhibitor could also regulate lymphangiogenesis-related properties of murine lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and invasive properties of Lewis lung cancer (LLC) cells. The observation that MMI270 led to a significant decrease in the weight of tumor-metastasized lymph nodes of mice led us to test its anti-lymphangiogenic and anti-invasive effects in vitro. Murine LECs were characterized by an in vitro tube formation assay, by semi-quantitative RT-PCR assay to examine the expression of mRNAs for flt-4, Flk-1, Tie-1, Tie-2, CD54/ICAM1, vWF, MMPs and uPA, and by western blotting to confirm the protein expression of flt-4 and CD31/PECAM. This is the first report on the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9 and MT1-MMP in murine LECs, as well as on the inhibition of their enzymatic activity, and of the invasive ability and tube-forming property of LECs by an MMP inhibitor. Furthermore, MMI270 was shown to strongly inhibit the activity of MMP-2 and -9 produced by LLC cells and the invasion of these cells through Matrigel. In summary, the present results indicate that MMI270, apart from its anti-tumor angiogenic application, might be useful as an anti-metastatic drug, on the basis of its downregulatation of both the lymphangiogenesis-related properties of LECs and the invasive properties of LLC cells in vitro.

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