In vivo molecular target assessment of matrix metalloproteinase inhibition

Nat Med. 2001 Jun;7(6):743-8. doi: 10.1038/89126.


A number of different matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitors have been developed as cytostatic and anti-angiogenic agents and are currently in clinical testing. One major hurdle in assessing the efficacy of such drugs has been the inability to sense or image anti-proteinase activity directly and non-invasively in vivo. We show here that novel, biocompatible near-infrared fluorogenic MMP substrates can be used as activatable reporter probes to sense MMP activity in intact tumors in nude mice. Moreover, we show for the first time that the effect of MMP inhibition can be directly imaged using this approach within hours after initiation of treatment using the potent MMP inhibitor, prinomastat (AG3340). The developed probes, together with novel near-infrared fluorescence imaging technology will enable the detailed analysis of a number of proteinases critical for advancing the therapeutic use of clinical proteinase inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Fibrosarcoma / drug therapy
  • Fibrosarcoma / physiopathology
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Organic Chemicals*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Peptides
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • prinomastat
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2