The correlation between thymidine phosphorylase (dThdPase) expression and invasion phenotype in human uterine cervical carcinoma cells was investigated using 10 cervical carcinoma cell lines. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to investigate the mRNA levels of dThdPase and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 with beta-actin coamplified as an internal standard. dThdPase protein expression levels were detected by highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tumor cell migration along a gradient of substratum-bound fibronectin and invasion into reconstituted basement membrane were evaluated by haptotactic migration and invasion assay. Although dThdPase mRNA and protein expression levels differed remarkably among the cell lines, there was a statistical correlation between them (r = 0.743, p = 0.0139). dThdPase gene and protein expression levels were well correlated with the number of cells that migrated and invaded (p < 0.05). Moreover, there was a close correlation between MMP-2 gene and dThdPase gene and protein expression levels (p < 0.05). Tumor cells that produce dThdPase may have a higher invasive and metastatic potential because of their capacity to pass through tissue barriers.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.