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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2008 Feb;19(1):52-60. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Matrix metalloproteinases at cancer tumor-host interface.

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Laboratory of Tumor and Development Biology, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie Expérimentale (CRCE), Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique Appliquée (GIGA-R), University of Liege, Sart-Tilman, Liège, Belgium.


The increasing diversity in both substrates and functions of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) makes these enzymes central regulators in the complex tumor ecosystem composed of cancer cells and their microenvironment. In the majority of cancers, membrane-associated and extracellular proteases are mainly produced by host cells including inflammatory cells, endothelial cells, pericytes and fibroblasts. Recent data based on in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the relevance of these enzymes in multiple processes controlling cancer growth, angiogenesis and metastatic dissemination. This review will present the emerging MMP-related features of cancer cells and host cells.

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