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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1993 Aug 1;304(2):314-21.

Walker 256 tumor cell degradation of extracellular matrices involves a latent gelatinase activated by reactive oxygen species.

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Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The invasion of blood vessel walls is a critical step in cancer metastasis, in which endothelial cells and their vascular basement membranes act as barriers to tumor cell passage. Here we report that Walker 256 carcinosarcoma (W256) cells degrade subendothelial matrices by a process involving both the generation of hydrogen peroxide and the secretion of a matrix metalloproteinase. As an assay of basement membrane degradation, [3H]proline-labeled subendothelial matrices were exposed to W256 cells in the presence or absence of the chemotactic peptide N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (fMLP). The release of [3H]proline, in the presence of 5 x 10(6) W256 cells, was increased from 49 +/- 2.5 to 64 +/- 2.2% by the addition of 10(-6) M fMLP. In the presence of fMLP-activated W256 cells, [3H]proline release was completely inhibited by the addition of 2000 units/ml catalase or by the metalloproteinase inhibitors 1,10-phenanthroline and EDTA at concentrations > or = 10 micrograms/ml. alpha 1-Antitrypsin or alpha 2-macroglobulin were without effect. Cell-free supernatants obtained from activated W256 cells were also able to promote basement membrane degradation. Electrophoresis of the cell-free supernatants from fMLP or PMA-activated W256 cells in gelatin-containing sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels revealed a major band of gelatinolytic activity at 94 kDa. The 94-kDa band represented the activity of a latent gelatinase since incubation with 1 mM 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA; a known activator of latent metalloproteinases) resulted in the loss of gelatinolytic activity at 94 kDa and the appearance of five new bands of lower molecular weight (M(r) 86, 79, 74, 70, and 66 kDa). Two of these lower molecular weight bands (M(r) 86 and 66 kDa) were also detected in the absence of APMA, following 10-fold concentration of the cell-free supernatants. When the cell-free supernatants of phorbol myristate acetate-activated W256 cells (concentrated 10-fold) were incubated with increasing concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (35 to 70 mM), the band at 66 kDa demonstrated enhanced gelatinolytic activity. We suggest that W256 cells can secrete a latent metalloproteinase of molecular weight 94 kDa which, when activated by hydrogen peroxide, can degrade subendothelial matrices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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