Expression of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in primary pulmonary carcinomas

Br J Cancer. 1992 Dec;66(6):1188-94. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1992.434.


Nine primary pulmonary carcinomas, one metastatic carcinoma, and two malignant pleural mesotheliomas have been analysed for the expression at the mRNA level of metalloproteinases (MPs) and tissue inhibitors of MPs (TIMPs). In situ hybridisation showed TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 transcripts predominantly over tumour stroma and gelatinases evenly distributed over both stromal and tumour cells. While both TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were expressed in non-neoplastic lungs (NNL) as well as in carcinomas, stromelysin 3 (ST3), 92 kDa gelatinase and interstitial collagenase were expressed only by carcinomas. Expression of these MPs by carcinomas was independent of histologic type and such tumour features as fibrosis or necrosis. The consistent expression of ST3 by all of the carcinomas examined and absence of its expression in NNL indicates that ST3 production is likely associated with the malignant phenotype. However, since 92 kDa gelatinase and interstitial collagenase transcripts were found in some but not all tumour samples, their expression is not a uniform feature of pulmonary carcinomas. The possible prognostic significance of the expression of the latter two enzymes by carcinomas remains to be established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Collagenases / analysis*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Lung / enzymology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 11
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7
  • Metalloendopeptidases / analysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Pepsin A / analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases


  • Glycoproteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • Pepsin A
  • Collagenases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 11
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7