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Carcinogenesis. 2007 Nov;28(11):2274-81. Epub 2007 Jun 29.

ECRG2 inhibits cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis through the down-regulation of uPA/plasmin activity.

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Department of Etiology and Carcinogenesis, Cancer Institute, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100021, China.


The esophageal cancer-related gene 2 (ECRG2) is a novel gene that shows sequence similarity to KAZAL-type serine protease inhibitor. In this study, the migration and invasion of PG cancer cells were inhibited by ectopic expression of ECRG2 in vitro, and metastases decreased after injecting PG/pcDNA3.1-ECRG2 cells into the tail veins of nude mice. Control mice were injected with PG/pcDNA3.1 cells. To test the hypothesis that ECRG2 interacts with proteases and inactivates extracellular matrix degradation, binding affinity and co-immunoprecipitation experiments were performed using serum-free conditioned medium. The results showed that ECRG2 bound to two species of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) with molecular weights of 55 and 33 kDa. Furthermore, analysis of the uPA/plasmin activity showed that expression of ECRG2 reduced proteolysis of the plasmin substrate D-Val-Phe-Lys-p-nitroanilide, which was seen by a decrease of absorbance at 405 nm. Taken together, these results suggested that ECRG2 inhibits aggressiveness of cancer cell, possibly through the down-regulation of uPA/plasmin activity.

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