Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is expressed both in carcinoma cells and in surrounding stromal fibroblasts. MT1-MMP localizes to the surface of tumor cells and is thought to play an important role in tumor invasion. To analyze the mechanism of MT1-MMP gene expression in epithelial tumor cells, the dog kidney epithelial cell line Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) was transformed by oncogenes, including v-src, and expression of MT1-MMP was examined. Transformation of MDCK cells with v-src resulted in loss of cell-to-cell contacts and morphological change. Expression of MT1-MMP in v-src-transformed cells was identified by Northern and Western blotting. Gelatin zymography analysis showed that progelatinase A in the culture medium was processed from latent to activated form by MDCK cells transformed with v-src. The MDCK cells transformed by v-src were tumorigenic in the subcutis (ectopic) and kidney (orthotopic) of nude mice and spontaneously metastasized to the lung after orthotopic implantation. These results suggest that MT1-MMP induced by v-src transformation may promote invasiveness of transformed cells.


This work was supported by a grant-in-aid for cancer research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan.

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