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Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression was investigated in patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Forty-one men were studied: 26 had histologically proven prostate cancer, with 14 (54%) showing metastatic disease; 15 patients had BPH. Prostatic tissue was obtained from transurethral resection and needle core biopsies; gelatinolytic activity was determined by zymography. Seven gelatinolytic bands were detected, with molecular weights ranging from > 100 kilodalton (kDa) to 29 kDa. Nine of 14 patients (64%) with skeletal metastases had 92 kDa activity, present in only two of 12 patients (17%) with a negative bone scan, and absent in BPH. The 92 kDa gelatinolytic activity was expressed in 73% of aneuploid tumours compared with 20% of diploid tumours. A 97 kDa gelatinase was expressed in 80% of BPH samples and 23% of carcinoma patients. Enzyme bands of 72, 66 and 45 kDa were equally expressed in malignant tissue, irrespective of metastatic status, but were expressed in fewer BPH patients. The 97, 92, 66 and 45 kDa enzymes were identified as being pro-MMP-9 sequences by Western blotting, using a specific antibody directed against the pro sequence of the mature protein. MMP activity appeared to be increased in malignant prostatic tissue compared with BPH. Pro-MMP-9, in its 92 kDa form, was shown to be exclusively expressed by malignant prostatic tissue, and in particular by tumours that exhibited the aggressive and metastatic phenotype. © 1994, Macmillan Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Cancer

Publication Date





177 - 182