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Int J Oncol. 2012 Jul;41(1):260-6. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1441. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Matrix metalloproteinases 15 and 19 are stromal regulators of colorectal cancer development from the early stages.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Human Morphology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, I-41125 Modena, Italy.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been well characterized for their ability to degrade extracellular matrix proteins and, thus, they have been studied to elucidate their involvement in both tumor development and progression. In the present study, attention was focused on MMP-15 and MMP-19, two less known members of the MMP family. The expression profile of MMP-15 and -19 was assayed in samples of normal colorectal mucosa, microadenomas and cancer using confocal analysis, western blotting and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Both qRT-PCR and western blotting showed that MMP-15 and MMP-19 appeared to be upregulated during colorectal tumorigenesis, with different expression patterns: MMP-15 expression level increases from normal mucosa to microadenomas, with a reduced level in cancer with respect to microadenomas; the semiquantitative immunofluorescence analysis showed a stromal localization of this protein in the early phases of neoplastic transformation. Increasing amount of MMP-19 mRNA and protein levels were observed in the progression of colonic lesions; MMP-19 staining increased in the normal mucosa-microadenoma-carcinoma sequence. Such different expression patterns, are probably due to the different roles played in colorectal tumorigenesis by these two molecules. Conflicting data on the role of these proteins in tumor progression have been reported, thus, an improved understanding of the biological roles of MMPs, in particular the lesser known members such as MMP-15 and 19, in colorectal cancer may lead to a re-evaluation of the use of MMP inhibitors and suggests the need of integrated translational studies on MMP expression patterns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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