Unraveling the role of proteases in cancer.

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
Clinica Chimica Acta (Impact Factor: 2.76). 03/2000; 291(2):113-35. DOI: 10.1016/S0009-8981(99)00224-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Investigators have been studying the expression and activity of proteases in the final steps of tumor progression, invasion and metastasis, for the past 30 years. Recent studies, however, indicate that proteases are involved earlier in progression, e.g., in tumor growth both at the primary and metastatic sites. Extracellular proteases may co-operatively influence matrix degradation and tumor cell invasion through proteolytic cascades, with individual proteases having distinct roles in tumor growth, invasion, migration and angiogenesis. In this review, we use cathepsin B as an example to examine the involvement of proteases in tumor progression and metastasis. We discuss the effect of interactions among tumor cells, stromal cells, and the extracellular matrix on the regulation of protease expression. Further elucidation of the role of proteases in cancer will allow us to design more effective inhibitors and novel protease-based drugs for clinical use.


Available from: Mamoun Ahram, Jun 15, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mammalian embryo is encased in a glycoproteinaceous coat, the zona pellucida (ZP) during preimplantation development. Prior to implantation, the blastocyst must undergo 'hatching' or ZP escape. In hamsters, there is a thinning of the ZP followed by a focal lysis and a complete dissolution of the ZP during blastocyst hatching. Earlier studies from our laboratory have indicated a role for cysteine proteases in the hatching phenomenon. In this study, we tested the effect of specific inhibitors of the three classes of cysteine protease on blastocyst hatching. Cystatin, an endogenous cathepsin inhibitor, blocked blastocyst hatching. Similarly, Fmoc-Tyr-Ala-diazomethane, a synthetic cathepsin inhibitor, blocked hatching. Both showed dose-dependent and temporal inhibition of hatching. However, Z-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone, a synthetic caspase inhibitor, and calpastatin, an endogenous calpain inhibitor, had no effect on hatching. The cathepsins were localized to blastocyst cells. Exogenous addition of cathepsins L, P or B to cultured 8-cell embryos caused a complete ZP dissolution. The expression of mRNA and protein of cathepsins L and P was observed in peri-hatching blastocysts. Cathepsins L and P were detected in trophectodermal projections and in the ZP of peri-hatching blastocysts. These data provide the first evidence that blastocyst-derived cathepsins are functionally involved as zonalytic factors in the hatching of blastocysts in the golden hamster.
    Molecular Human Reproduction 07/2008; 14(6):337-46. DOI:10.1093/molehr/gan026 · 3.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many physiological and pathophysiological processes, such as embryogenesis, immune defense, wound healing, or metastasis, are based on cell migration and invasion. The activity of the ubiquitously expressed NHE1 isoform of the plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) exchanger is one of the requirements for directed locomotion of migrating cells. The mechanisms by which NHE1 is involved in cell migration are multiple. NHE1 contributes to cell migration by affecting the cell volume, by regulating the intracellular pH and thereby the assembly and activity of cytoskeletal elements, by anchoring the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane, by the organization of signal transduction and by regulating gene expression. The present review focuses on two additional, extracellular mechanisms by which NHE1 activity contributes to cell migration and invasion. Protons extruded by the NHE1 lead to local, extracellular acidification which, on the one hand, can create pH optima needed for the activity of proteinases at invadopodia/podosomes necessary for extracellular matrix digestion and, on the other hand, facilitates cell/matrix interaction and adhesion at the cell front.
    European Journal of Cell Biology 04/2008; 87(8-9):591-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ejcb.2008.01.007 · 3.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cell behavior by influencing cell proliferation, survival, shape, migration and differentiation. Far from being a static structure, the ECM is constantly undergoing remodeling--i.e. assembly and degradation--particularly during the normal processes of development, differentiation and wound repair. When misregulated, this can contribute to disease. ECM assembly is regulated by the 3D environment and the cellular tension that is transmitted through integrins. Degradation is controlled by complex proteolytic cascades, and misregulation of these results in ECM damage that is a common component of many diseases. Tissue engineering strives to replace damaged tissues with stem cells seeded on synthetic structures designed to mimic the ECM and thus restore the normal control of cell function. Stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is influenced by the 3D environment within the stem cell niche. For tissue-engineering strategies to be successful, the intimate dynamic relationship between cells and the ECM must be understood to ensure appropriate cell behavior.
    Journal of Cell Science 03/2008; 121(Pt 3):255-64. DOI:10.1242/jcs.006064 · 5.33 Impact Factor