1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA;
2. Department of Pathology and Laboratory of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;
3. The Research Laboratory and International Collaboration, Bon Secours Cancer Institute, Bon Secours Health System, Richmond, VA, USA
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play intricate roles in cancer progression; some promote invasion and angiogenesis while others suppress tumor growth. For example, human MMP-26/endometase/matrilysin-2 was reported to be either protective or pro-tumorigenic. Our previous reports suggested pro-invasion and anti-inflammation properties in prostate cancer. Here, we provide evidence for a protective role of MMP-26 in the prostate. MMP-26 expression levels in androgen-repressed human prostate cancer (ARCaP) cells, transfected with sense or anti-sense MMP-26 cDNA, are directly correlated with those of the pro-apoptotic marker Bax. Immunohistochemical staining of prostate cancer tissue samples shows similar protein expression patterns, correlating the expression levels of MMP-26 and Bax in benign, neoplastic, and invasive prostate cancer tissues. The MMP-26 protein levels were upregulated in high grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) and decreased during the course of disease progression. Further analysis using an indirect terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay showed that many tumor cells expressing MMP-26 were undergoing apoptosis. This study showed that the high level of MMP-26 expression is positively correlated with the presence of apoptotic cells. This pro-apoptotic role of MMP-26 in human prostate cancer cells and tissues may enhance our understanding of the paradoxical roles of MMP-26 in tumor invasion and progression.
Keywords: Endometase, matrilysin-2, Bax, apoptosis, prostate, matrix metalloproteinases, protective role, tumorigenic, and cancer progression.