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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

mRNA levels of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), MMP-2, and MMP-9 and of their inhibitors TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 in normal thyrocytes and thyroid carcinoma cell lines.

Thyroid cancer can degrade basement membranes and invade tissues. This depends on a cascade of matrix metalloproteinases involving membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), MMP-2, and MMP-9. We analyzed the expression and role of these MMPs and their specific inhibitors TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 in human highly purified thyroid epithelial, C 643, HTh 74, SW 1736, and 8505 C thyroid carcinoma and thyroid-derived fibroblast cell cultures. The effect of phorbol-myristate acetate (PMA), and of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 ( IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) on MMP and TIMP mRNA levels were monitored by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) including an internal homologous competitor fragment. The highest MT1-MMP mRNA levels were found in thyroid-derived fibroblasts. The MT1-MMP mRNA expression was increased up to 10-fold by PMA, while all other growth factors tested had only negligible effects. The thyroid carcinoma cells themselves did not seem to play a crucial role in the production of MT1-MMP in thyroid tumors. Higher MMP-2 mRNA levels were found in all cell types investigated. The highest MMP-2 mRNA levels were determined in thyroid-derived fibroblasts and HTh 74 cells. We found a lack of MMP-2 response to IL-1, TNF-alpha, and phorbol esters. In unstimulated cells, MMP-9 mRNA was found near the detection limit or at low levels. In nearly all cell types, treatment with PMA, IL-1, and TNF-alpha caused an increase of the MMP-9 mRNA levels. The results of basal and stimulated MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA expression were confirmed at the protein level by gelatin zymography. TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 mRNAs were expressed at high levels. In contrast to the basal TIMP-3 mRNA levels, which varied over a great range, there were no striking differences the cell types from analyzing TIMP-2 mRNA. There were no or only slight stimulatory effects on TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 mRNA expression by IL-1, TNF-alpha, and PMA. Taken together, most enzymes of the MT-MMP/MMP class of proteases facilitating invasion of thyroid tumor cells seem to have been produced by fibroblasts, not by the tumor cells themselves. However, some dedifferentiated thyroid tumor cell lines may be capable of secreting some of these enzymes, as in the case of HTh 74 cells.[1]


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