Membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is associated with enhanced tumorigenicity in many cancers. A recent study has revealed that MT1-MMP induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in prostate and breast cancer cells. However, its role in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has not been studied. Here, we investigated the role of MT1-MMP in the dissemination of ESCC. Expression of MT1-MMP was detected by immunohistochemistry and tissue microarray in 88 Kazakh ESCC patients. Western blotting was performed to detect endogenous and overexpressed exogenous MT1-MMP in the Eca109 and Eca9706 cell lines, respectively. Transwell assay was used to estimate MT1-MMP-induced invasion and metastasis. EMT-associated proteins were detected by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The associations between the expression of MT1-MMP and EMT-associated proteins with clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed. Overexpression of MT1-MMP was confirmed in Kazakh ESCC patients. MT1-MMP levels were found to be correlated with the depth of tumor infiltration. MT1-MMP induced EMT in ESCC both in vivo and in vitro, N-cadherin and Vimentin expression was upregulated upon MT1-MMP transfection into cells. However, E-cadherin was found to be downregulated. MT1-MMP-induced EMT led to increase migration and invasion in ESCC cell lines. In conclusion, our results suggest that MT1-MMP promotes ESCC invasion and metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas