Induction of 103-kDa gelatinase/type IV collagenase by acidic culture conditions in mouse metastatic melanoma cell lines

J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 5;267(16):11424-30.


Gelatinases/type IV collagenases have been shown to be involved in tumor invasion and metastasis. In this study, we examined the effect of culture medium pH on the secretion of the gelatinases from mouse B16 melanoma cell lines and human tumor cell lines using zymography analysis. The highly metastatic clone F10 of B16 melanoma did not secrete any gelatinase in neutral culture media (pH 7.1-7.3), whereas it secreted a high level of a 103-kDa gelatinase in an initial pH range of 5.4-6.1. The addition of an excess amount of glucose into a neutral culture medium also induced the gelatinase secretion from the cells by decreasing the medium pH during incubation. The extent of the acid-induced gelatinase secretion by the B16 melanoma cell lines was in the order of BL6 greater than F10 greater than F1 much greater than the parent B16 line, in good agreement with the order of their metastatic potentials. Two human cell lines (A549 and HT1080) secreted a higher level of a 90-kDa gelatinase at pH 6.8 compared with pH 7.3. The acid-induced gelatinase secretion from B16-F10 cells was blocked by cycloheximide, indicating that the enzyme induction was due to de novo synthesis. When in vitro tumor cell invasion was assayed in Boyden chambers, B16-F10 cells incubated in an acidic medium exerted a more active migration through type IV collagen gel than those in a neutral medium. These results suggest that the acidic environment formed around tumor tissues may be an important factor in invasion and metastasis of some types of tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Culture Media
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Gelatinases
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Melanoma, Experimental / enzymology*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Microbial Collagenase / biosynthesis*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pepsin A / biosynthesis*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Culture Media
  • Cycloheximide
  • Pepsin A
  • Gelatinases
  • Microbial Collagenase