Matrix metalloproteinases in squamous cell carcinoma


  • Veli-Matti Kahari
  • N. Johansson


squamous cell carcinoma, invasion, matrix metalloproteinase


Controlled degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential in many physiological situations including developmental tissue remodeling, angiogenesis, tissue repair, and normal turnover of ECM. In addition, degradation of matrix components is an important feature of tumor growth, invasion, metastasis, and tumor-induced angiogenesis. Matrix metallo-proteinases (MMPs) are a family of zincdependent neutral endopeptidases, which are collectively capable of degrading essentially all ECM components. MMPs apparently play an important role in all the above mentioned aspects of tumor development. In addition, there is recent evidence that MMP activity is required for tumor cell survival. At present, several MMP inhibitors are in clinical trials of malignant tumors of different histogenetic origin. In this review we discuss the current view on the role of MMPs and their inhibitors in development and invasion of squamous cell carcinomas, as a basis for prognostication and therapeutic intervention in these tumors.




Invited Reviews