The role of serpins in tumor cell migration

Yolanda Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Tumor cells are characterized by uncontrolled cell growth at a primary site that is caused by genetic alterations. Tumor cells that metastasize from their primary site to distant locations are commonly referred to as malignant. Cell migration is a critical step in this process. The ability of tumor cells to migrate and invade is partly controlled by proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes are secreted by either the tumor cells themselves or adjacent cells. They represent all classes of proteases, including serine and cysteine proteases. Serine proteases, in particular urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), initiate a proteolytic cascade that culminates in degrading components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Some serine proteases are controlled by a superfamily of proteins known as serpins. This minireview provides an overview of serpins that are vital in regulating tumor cell migration and progressing cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Plasmin
  • Plasminogen activators
  • Urokinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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