Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, 26:675

RECK—a newly discovered inhibitor of metastasis with prognostic significance in multiple forms of cancer


  • Jonathan C. M. Clark
    • Department of Orthopaedics, St. Vincent’s HospitalUniversity of Melbourne
  • David M. Thomas
    • Sarcoma Genomics and Genetics LaboratoryPeter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Peter F. M. Choong
    • Department of Orthopaedics, St. Vincent’s HospitalUniversity of Melbourne
    • Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma ServicePeter MacCallum Cancer Centre
    • Department of Orthopaedics, St. Vincent’s HospitalUniversity of Melbourne

DOI: 10.1007/s10555-007-9093-8

Cite this article as:
Clark, J.C.M., Thomas, D.M., Choong, P.F.M. et al. Cancer Metastasis Rev (2007) 26: 675. doi:10.1007/s10555-007-9093-8


The RECK (reversion-inducing cysteine rich protein with Kazal motifs) protein was initially discovered by its ability to induce reversion in ras-activated fibroblasts. The key action of RECK is to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) involved in breakdown of the extracellular matrix (ECM), and angiogenesis—namely MMP-2, MMP-9 and MTP-1. To this effect, it plays important physiological roles in embryogenesis and vasculogenesis. Additionally, it has a significant effect on tumorigenesis by limiting angiogenesis and invasion of tumours through the ECM. RECK has been studied in the context of a number of human tumours including colorectal, breast, pancreas, gastric, hepatocellular, prostate, and non-small cell lung carcinoma. In many of these tumours, RECK is down-regulated most likely as a result of inhibition at the Sp1 promoter site. MMP-2 and MMP-9 generally show an inverse association with RECK expression, but there are exceptions to this rule. Likewise, a reduction in tumour microvascular density (MVD) and VEGF have also been correlated with increased RECK levels, although more studies are required to define this effect. The predominant finding across all human tumour studies is a significantly improved prognosis (due to decreased invasion and metastasis) in tumours with preserved RECK expression. Although further research is required, RECK is a promising prognostic marker and potential therapeutic agent in multiple cancers.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007