Increased expression of seprase, a membrane-type serine protease, is associated with lymph node metastasis in human colorectal cancer

Cancer Lett. 2003 Sep 10;199(1):91-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(03)00315-x.


Seprase is a membrane-bound serine proteinase with gelatinase activity, which may be involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. We examined seprase expression in colorectal cancer specimens obtained from 109 patients. Seprase immunoreactivity was found in cancer cells and adjacent stromal cells. Immunoblotting showed higher levels of seprase protein in colorectal cancer tissue than in normal colorectal tissue. A semiquantitative assessment of the immunohistochemistry results revealed a significant correlation between seprase expression and lymph node metastasis. These results suggested that an abundant expression of seprase in colorectal cancer tissue is associated with lymph node metastasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Child
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gelatinases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / enzymology*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / genetics*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics*
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • fibroblast activation protein alpha
  • seprase, human
  • Gelatinases