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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Aug 5;333(3):1011-6.

Matrix metalloproteinase-7 degrades all insulin-like growth factor binding proteins and facilitates insulin-like growth factor bioavailability.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, Chiba, Japan.


Proteolytic modification of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) plays an important physiological role in regulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF) bioavailability. Recently, we demonstrated that matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7)/Matrilysin produced by various cancer cells catalyzes the proteolysis of IGFBP-3 in vitro and regulates IGF bioavailability, resulting in an anti-apoptotic effect against anchorage-independent culture. In the present study, we investigated whether MMP-7 contributes to proteolysis of the other five IGFBPs, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4, IGFBP-5, and IGFBP-6, and whether this results in phosphorylation of the IGF type 1 receptor (IGF-1R). MMP-7 cleaved all six IGFBPs, resulting in IGF-mediated IGF-1R phosphorylation, which was inhibited by EDTA treatment. These results suggest that MMP-7 derived from cancer cells can regulate IGF bioavailability in the microenvironment surrounding the tumor, where various kinds of IGF/IGFBP complexes are found, thereby favoring cancer cell growth and survival during the processes of invasion and metastasis.

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