Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Imbalance of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression versus TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 reflects increased invasiveness of human testicular germ cell tumours.

The histological classification of testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) to seminoma or non-seminomatous germ cell tumours is at present the main criterion for the clinical outcome and selection of the treatment strategy. In view of the need to identify novel prognostic biomarkers for TGCTs, we investigated the expression of the matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 in testicular tumour tissues and cell lines of both seminoma and non-seminoma origin. Immunohistochemistry and zymography analysis of tumoural tissues showed significantly higher levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 compared with normal testis with the active forms detected only in the tumour tissues. Three cell lines representative of the different tumour types, JKT-1 seminoma, NCCIT teratocarcinoma and NTERA2/D1 embryonal carcinoma were also evaluated for their expression of these MMPs using qPCR and zymography and for their invasive properties. The more invasive non-seminomatous teratocarcinoma and embryonal cells expressed considerably more MMP-2 and MMP-9 compared with seminoma cells exhibiting lower invasiveness. Furthermore, an inverse relation was observed between invasiveness and the expression of endogenous inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. The MMP inhibitor Marimastat inhibited invasion in all cell lines, the highest inhibition was observed in the more invasive NTERA2/D1 and NCCIT cells, which presented the highest ratio of MMP-2 and MMP-9 vs. TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. These results highlight the importance of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in the invasiveness of testicular tumours and suggest that their levels, vs. those of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, may represent potential biomarkers for testicular malignancy.

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