Elevated expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) plays a critical role in extracellular matrix (EM) degradation in tumor development and prognosis of different human carcinomas. In cervical carcinoma (Ce Ca), the role of these proteinases in the biological development of this neoplasm is controversial. In the present study, we compared the secretion of MMP-2, MMP-3 and MMP-9 among 29 benign and premalignant cervical lesions (cervicitis and cervical intraepithelial neoplasias) and 46 tumoral explants of Ce Ca. The explants were cultured for 48 h. The gelatinases secreted into conditioned medium were revealed by zymography and quantified by densitometry. The results showed high levels of MMP-3 and MMP-9 in tumoral explants. In contrast, only the pro-MMP-2 was higher in benign cervical lesions, although both active and inactive MMP-2 species are associated with advanced clinical stages in tumoral samples, and only the secretion of MMP-3 was associated with unresponsiveness to radiotherapy. We can conclude that the expression of MMPs is related to the invasive process in Ce Ca and suggest that they may play a role in degradation of the EM during local invasion. In addition, MMP-3 secretion could be a marker of poor prognosis in Ce Ca.
- cervical carcinoma
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