Expression of matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP-8) and tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TYRP-1) correlates with the absence of metastasis in an isogenic human breast cancer model

Dianne Agarwal, Steve Goodison, Benjamin Nicholson, David Tarin, Virginia Urquidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


The multi-step nature of metastasis poses difficulties in both design and interpretation of experiments to unveil the mechanisms causing the process. In order to facilitate such studies, we have previously derived a pair of breast tumor cell lines that originate from the same breast tumor but which have diametrically opposite metastatic capabilities. In this system, the monoclonal cell line M-4A4 is metastatic to the lungs of athymic mice, whereas clone NM-2C5 is equally tumorigenic but non-metastatic. Here, we report that representational difference analysis (RDA) of cDNA obtained from the two clonal populations revealed an increased expression of tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TYRP-1) and the matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) genes in the non-metastatic cell line. RNA and protein analyses in cultured cells and in primary xenograft tissues confirmed that the non-metastatic cell line expresses TYRP-1 and MMP-8 at levels that are at least 20-fold higher than the metastatic counterpart. Other members of the MMP family (MMP-9 and MMP-2) and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) were found to be expressed at similar levels in both populations. The effects of MMP-8 and TYRP-1 on in vitro invasion and migration were assessed in cells whose expression of these genes was altered by stable transduction with sense and antisense constructs. Specific down-regulation of MMP-8 in non-metastatic NM-2C5 cells resulted in a 2.5-fold increased capacity to invade through Matrigel. Unlike other members of the matrix metalloproteinase family, MMP-8 has not previously been implicated in the processes of tumorigenesis or metastasis. The successful identification of two proteins that are differentially expressed in these matched clonal cell lines and the tumors that they produce demonstrates the feasibility of using this approach to search for genes that are associated with aberrant differentiation toward metastatic behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003



  • Breast cancer
  • MMP-8
  • MMPs
  • Metastasis inhibition
  • Metastasis model
  • TIMPs
  • TYRP-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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