Matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) is involved in the degradation of interstitial collagen and thus thought to play a role in invasion of carcinoma. We investigated 51 oesophageal carcinoma patients to clarify the significance of MMP-1. MMP-1 mRNA was demonstrated to be expressed exclusively in almost all carcinoma tissue specimens (T) (94.1%) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, but not found in normal mucosal tissue specimens (N). The mean T/N ratio of MMP-1 was 42.5 and cases with T/N > or = 10 had a higher incidence of cases involving muscularis propria than those with T/N < 10 which included all the cases involving the submucosa (P< 0.05). MMP-1 mRNA was significantly associated with both 40 kD (putative active MMP-1) and 50 kD (putative latent MMP-1) gelatinolytic bands (n = 17). These findings indicated that MMP-1 mRNA reflected the net function of MMP-1 and suggested MMP-1 to be involved in carcinoma invasive process. On the other hand, MMP-1 mRNA was inversely correlated with the patient prognosis (P< 0.01). These results indicated that MMP-1 might therefore play a crucial role in local invasion, but not in systemic dissemination. As a result, MMP-1 might be a novel prognostic factor independent from those previously reported in oesophageal carcinoma.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.