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Matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in gastric cancer
  1. G I Murraya,
  2. M E Duncanb,
  3. E Arbucklea,
  4. W T Melvinb,
  5. J E Fothergillb
  1. aDepartment of Pathology, bDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen, UK
  1. Dr G I Murray, Department of Pathology, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK.


Background—The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are strongly implicated in tumour invasion and metastasis.

Aims—To investigate the presence of individual MMPs and TIMPs in gastric cancer.

Methods—The presence of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 was identified in a group of gastric cancers (n=74) by immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies were effective on formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded sections.

Results—A large proportion (94%) of gastric cancers contained MMP-2; MMP-1 and MMP-9 were also detected in 73% and 70% of tumours respectively. MMP-3 was only present in 27% of tumours. MMP-1 and MMP-9 were found predominantly in intestinal type tumours. TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were identified in 41% and 57% of tumours respectively. Immunoreactivity for individual MMPs or TIMPs was not identified in normal stomach.

Conclusions—This study shows the presence of matrix metalloproteinases, particularly MMP-2, and TIMPs in stomach cancer. Antibodies which are effective in formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded sections are useful for the identification of MMPs and TIMPs in diagnostic specimens.

  • immunohistochemistry
  • matrix metalloproteinase
  • neoplasm
  • stomach

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