Epithelial carcinogenesis: dynamic interplay between neoplastic cells and their microenvironment

Differentiation. 2002 Dec;70(9-10):610-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-0436.2002.700914.x.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have long been thought of as critical factors regulating matrix degradation associated with cell invasion into ectopic tissue compartments during primary tumor growth and metastasis. One member of the MMP family historically linked to these invasive processes is MMP-9/gelatinase B. By studying a transgenic mouse model of de novo epithelial carcinogenesis, new roles for MMP-9 have emerged that broaden the view of its functional contribution to malignant progression. The combined implication of these studies suggest that MMP-9 functionally contributes to cancer development; however, its major regulatory role may be in its ability to activate poorly diffusible and/or matrix-sequestered growth factors that regulate epithelial and/or endothelial cell growth as opposed to regulating cellular invasion across basement membranes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / biosynthesis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / metabolism


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9