Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 305–319

Stromelysin in tumor progression and metastasis

  • Susan Mc Donnell
  • Lynn M. Matrisian

DOI: 10.1007/BF00049521

Cite this article as:
Donnell, S.M. & Matrisian, L.M. Cancer Metast Rev (1990) 9: 305. doi:10.1007/BF00049521


There are several characteristics of stromelysin that suggest that expression of this enzyme may play an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis; the stromelysin gene is expressed in response to stimulation by oncogenes and tumor promoters, and the protein product of this gene is a metalloproteinase capable of degrading multiple components of the extracellular matrix. Experimental evidence to support this hypothesis has been derived from several animal model systems, in which a positive correlation has been observed between stromelysin expression and tumor progression and metastasis. In addition, in vivo experiments in which the levels of TIMP, the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, were altered also strongly suggest a causal role for metalloproteinases in tumor metastases. The expression of active stromelysin in tumor cells requires the fulfillment of several criteria, and this multistep process is reminiscent of the molecular events that are currently understood to contribute to tumor progression and carcinogenesis. Expression of stromelysin mRNA requires both a stimulus, a step which may correspond to the activation of an oncogene in multistep carcinogenesis, as well as the lifting of transcriptional repression, which may correspond to the loss of tumor suppressor function. Both positive and negative modulation of stromelysin transcription appear to utilize pathways that involve the protooncogenes c-fos and/or c-jun. The expression of active stromelysin expression of inhibitors and the levels of active enzyme. The multiple levels of stromelysin regulation support the concept of multistep carcinogenesis and may provide a tool for further understanding of the molecular nature of the events that lead to tumor progression, invasion, and metastasis.

Key words

metalloproteinase stromelysin transin carcinogenesis metastasis invasion 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Mc Donnell
    • 1
  • Lynn M. Matrisian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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