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Int J Cancer. 2009 Jan 15;124(2):306-15. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23951.

The hemopexin domain of MMP-9 inhibits angiogenesis and retards the growth of intracranial glioblastoma xenograft in nude mice.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, IL 61656, USA.


Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) consists of a prodomain, catalytic domain with 3 fibronectin-like type II modules and C-terminal hemopexin-like (PEX) domain. These domains play distinct roles in terms of proteolytic activity, substrate binding and interaction with inhibitors and receptors. To assess the potential of the MMP-9-PEX domain to interfere with tumor progression, we stably transfected human glioblastoma cells with an expression vector containing a cDNA sequence of the MMP-9-PEX. The selected clones exhibited decreased MMP-9 activity and reduced invasive capacity. We assessed how secretion of MMP-9-PEX by glioblastoma cells affects angiogenic capabilities of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMECs) in vitro. MMP-9-PEX conditioned medium treatment caused a reduction in migration of HMECs and inhibited capillary-like structure formation in association with suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion and VEGF receptor-2 protein level. The suppression of HMECs survival by conditioned medium from MMP-9-PEX stable transfectants was associated with apoptosis induction characterized by an increase in cells with a sub-G0/G1 content, fragmentation of DNA, caspase-3, -8 and -9 activation and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. A significant tumor growth inhibition was observed in intracranial implants of MMP-9-PEX stable transfectants in nude mice with attenuation of CD31 and MMP-9 protein expression. These results demonstrate that MMP-9-PEX inhibits angiogenic features of endothelial cells and retards intracranial glioblastoma growth.

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