Increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is associated with nearly every tumor type. Although many studies have shown that MMPs can promote malignancy, recent evidence has revealed that MMPs can play a causative role also in the earliest stages of cancer development. A complex story is now emerging in which MMPs not only compromise cell-cell and cell-substratum adhesion processes that impact genomic surveillance mechanisms but also act directly on molecules at the cell surface to stimulate physiological processes that cause genetic alterations. Delineating the mechanisms involved in these processes and identifying how they are coordinated in vivo could aid identification of the crucial contribution of MMPs to tumorigenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology