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Bachmeier, B. E.; Boukamp, P.; Lichtinghagen, R.; Fusenig, N. E.; Fink, E. (2000): Matrix metalloproteinases-2,-3,-7,-9 and-10, but not MMP-11, are differentially expressed in normal, benign tumorigenic and malignant human keratinocyte cell lines. In: Biological Chemistry, Vol. 381, No. 5-6: pp. 497-507


In order to investigate the correlations between constitutive proteinase expression and the degree of tumorigenicity of cancer cells we have studied a model system of three keratinocyte cell lines. RT-PCR studies showed that the cell lines express the genes of matrix metalloproteinase-2, -3, -7, -9, -10 and -11, indicating that they are able to synthesize the corresponding enzymes. Actual MMP synthesis was proven by zymography and Western blotting. In conditioned media gelatinolytic activities or immunoreactive forms of MMP-2, -3, -7, -9, -10 and -11 were detected. The signal intensities showed that MMP secretion increases in the order HaCaT < A5 less than or equal to II-4RT, whereas only MMP-11 is secreted by all cell lines in equal amounts, Intracellularly, enhanced levels of one or both of the tumorigenic variants were only found for MMP-3 -9 and -10, suggesting special functions of these intracellular MMP pools for the tumorigenic cell lines. For MMP-11 exclusive expression in stromal fibroblasts of tumor tissues is widely accepted; however, our results and three other recent reports demonstrate that this concept is not generally valid. In conclusion, the three keratinocyte cell lines investigated here represent an excellent model for studying constitutive expression and secretion of MMPs in correlation to the degree of in vivo tumorigenicity.