MMP-9 and the epidermal growth factor signal pathway in non-small cell lung cancer

Cox, G., Jones, J.L., & O'Byrne, K.J. (1999) MMP-9 and the epidermal growth factor signal pathway in non-small cell lung cancer. Thorax, 54(SUP. 3), A82.

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Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 is an endopeptidase that digests basement membrane type-IV collagen. Enhanced expression has been related to tumour progression in a number of systems. The control of MMP expression is complex, but recently epidermal growth actor receptor (EGFR) activity has been implicated in up-regulation of MMP-9 in tumour cells in vitro.


To evaluate interrelations between MMP-9 and EGFR expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to assess the impact of expression on survival.


This is a retrospective study of 152 patients who underwent resection for stage I-IIIa NSCLC with a post-operative survival >60 days. Minimum follow-up was 2 years. Standard ABC immunohistochemistry was performed on 4μm paraffin-embedded sections from the tumour periphery using monoclonal antibodies to MMP-9 and EGFR. Results: MMP-9 was expressed in the tumour cells of 79/152 (52%) cases. EGFR expression was found in 86/152 (57%) cases [membranous 51/152 (34%), cytoplasmic 35/152 (23%)]. MMP-9 expression was associated with poor outcome (p=0.04). Membranous, cytoplasmic and overall EGFR expression were not associated with outcome (p=0.29, p=0.85 and p=0.41 respectively). There was a strong correlation between MMP-9 expression and EGFR expression (p=0.001) and EGFR membranous expression (p=0.01) but not with cytoplasmic EGFR expression (p=0.28). Co-expression of MMP-9 and EGFR (36%) conferred a worse prognosis (p=0.003). Subset analysis revealed only MMP-9 and membranous EGFR co-expression (22%) was associated with poor outcome (p=0.008).


Our results show that MMP-9 and EGFR are co-expressed in NSCLC. This finding suggests the EGFR signalling pathway may play an important role in the invasive behaviour of NSCLC via specific upregulation of MMP-9. The co-expression of these markers also confers a poor prognosis.

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ID Code: 64909
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0040-6376
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 BMJ Group
Deposited On: 29 Nov 2013 06:28
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 03:15

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