Collagenase-3 expression is associated with advanced local invasion in human squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx

M Cazorla, L Hernandez, A Nadal, M Balbin, J. Marull Lopez, F Vizoso, PL Fernandez, K Iwata, A Cardesa, C Lopez-Otin, E Campo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is a matrix metalloproteinase recently identified on the li,asis of differential expression in normal breast tissues and in breast carcinoma. To date, collagenase-3 expression has been reported only in breast carcinomas and in articular cartilage of arthritic patients; the presence and possible implication of this enzyme in the progression of other malignant tumours are unknown, in this study, collagenase-3 mRNA expression has been analysed by northern blot in a series of 35 matched squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx and the corresponding adjacent non-neoplastic tissues. In addition, mRNA expression of membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and gelatinase A, two matrix metalloproteinases which have the ability to activate collagenase-3 in vitro, was also examined in the same cases. No collagenase-3 expression was detected in any of the 35 normal mucosae, but collagenase-3 mRNA nas observed in 20 of the 35 carcinomas (57 per cent), Western blot analysis revealed the presence of collagenase-3 protein in those carcinomas Kith high levels of mRNA expression, whereas no protein was detected in the carcinomas with negative mRNA expression, or in any of the normal tissues, The protein was localized predominantly in tumour epithelial cells. Collagenase-3 expression correlated significantly with better histological differentiation of the tumours (p = 0.026), as well as with advanced local invasion (p = 0.026). Collagenase-3 upregulation,vas also significantly associated with MT1-MMP and gelatinase A overexpression. These findings suggest that collagenase-3 expression may contribute to the progression of a significant subset of squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx and that its coordinate overexpression with MT1-MMP and gelatinase A may have a cooperative effect in the progression of the tumours, (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalJ. Pathol.
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


  • collagenase-3
  • laryngeal carcinoma
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • gelatinase A
  • MT1-MMP
  • HEAD


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