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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1990 Apr 4;82(7):589-95.

Inhibition of collagenolytic activity and metastasis of tumor cells by a recombinant human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, CA 90054.


Metalloproteinases secreted by tumor cells play an important role in metastasis. In the present study, we determined whether an inhibitor of these proteinases could inhibit the ability of tumor cells to degrade collagen and to metastasize. Metalloproteinases with degradative activities for type I collagen, type IV collagen, gelatin, and casein were secreted by a highly metastatic rat embryo cell line (4R) transfected by c-Ha-ras1 (also known as HRAS1). These metalloproteinases were identified by sodium dodecyl sulfate substrate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis as 92-kilodalton and 68-kilodalton gelatinolytic enzymes and 48-kilodalton and 45-kilodalton caseinolytic proteinases. A recombinant human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (rTIMP) completely inhibited the proteolytic activities of these enzymes and was also a potent inhibitor of the proteolytic degradation of collagen by intact c-Ha-ras1-transfected cells. The ability of these cells to colonize the lungs after intravenous injection into nude mice was inhibited by 83% when rTIMP was repeatedly injected intraperitoneally into the animals. These data demonstrate that rTIMP is a potent inhibitor of the metalloproteinase activities of these cells and can also inhibit their metastatic potential.

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