The Mr 72,000 type IV collagenase [matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2)] is known to play a central role in the process of invasion and metastasis, but its regulation is not clearly understood. We investigated the role of the type I insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the regulation of tumor cell invasion and the synthesis of MMP-2. Highly invasive murine Lewis lung carcinoma subline H-59 cells, in which expression of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) was blocked by antisense mRNA, had a significantly reduced invasion in reconstituted basement membrane (Matrigel) as compared with that of controls. These cells had a decrease of up to 6-fold in the level of MMP-2 mRNA transcripts, as assessed by reverse transcription-PCR, and a corresponding reduction in protein synthesis, as assessed by the Western blot assay and gelatin zymography. Conversely, overexpression of IGF-IR in a second, poorly invasive carcinoma subline (M-27) with low endogenous levels of the receptor increased MMP-2 mRNA and protein expression by up to 7.5- and 4-fold, respectively. Ligand-mediated activation of the IGF-IR induced MMP-2 synthesis in both cell types. The results identify IGF-I as a regulator of MMP-2 expression and cellular invasion.


Supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada (to P.B.).

This content is only available via PDF.