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Oncol Lett. 2017 Sep;14(3):3193-3198. doi: 10.3892/ol.2017.6487. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

Mast cell chymase affects the proliferation and metastasis of lung carcinoma cells in vitro.

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School of Pharmaceutical Engineering and Life Sciences, Changzhou University, Changzhou, Jiangsu 213164, P.R. China.


Metastasis of lung carcinoma cells is a major cause of organ failure and mortality of patients with lung cancer. Lung mast cells are a type of immune cell which reside in the respiratory mucosa. High numbers of mast cells are associated with the majority of common types of cancer; however, the effects of mast cells on cancer remain unclear. In the present study, the effects of mast cell chymase (MCC) on the proliferation and adhesion of the lung carcinoma cell lines A549 and H520 was investigated. After 24 h of treatment, the highest dose of MCC (50 mU/ml) decreased the proliferation rate of A549 and H520 cells, whereas the lowest dose of MCC (5 mU/ml) resulted in a small increase in the viability. A549 cells treated with MCC lost adhesion ability in a MCC dose-dependent manner; however, these detached cells were able to regrow when transferred to a fresh culture. The protein expression of epithelial (E-) cadherin, p53 and p21 in A549 lung carcinoma cells were detected by western blot analysis. The results of the present study revealed that, following 24 h of treatment, the expression level of E-cadherin was decreased, the p53 tumor suppressor protein was expressed in limited quantities and the expression of p21 was decreased. Zymography was used to examine the effects of MCC on the expression and activation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in A549 and H520 cells. The expression of MMP-9 in the two cell lines was time- and MCC dose-dependent. The results of the present study demonstrated that MCC stimulated lung carcinoma cell proliferation and adhesion, as well as regulated E-cadherin expression and the cell cycle, all of which are associated with cancer metastasis. Therefore, MCC may be a potential candidate for lung carcinoma therapy.


lung carcinoma; mast cell; mast cell chymase (MCC); metastasis; proliferation

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