Intrinsic genetic characteristics determine tumor-modifying capacity of fibroblasts: Matrix metalloproteinase-3 5A/5A genotype enhances breast cancer cell invasion
journal contributionposted on 24.10.2012, 09:00 by D. L. Holliday, S. Hughes, Jacqueline A. Shaw, Rosemary A. Walker, J. L. Louise
Background Stromal fibroblasts can contribute to tumor invasion through the release of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Population studies have suggested that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MMP genes influence levels of expression and may be associated with breast cancer risk and with disease progression. This study directly examined the impact of MMP SNP genotype on the ability of host fibroblasts to promote tumor cell invasion. Methods Primary breast fibroblasts were isolated from patients with (n = 13) or without (n = 19) breast cancer, and their ability to promote breast cancer cell invasion was measured in in vitro invasion assays. Fibroblast invasion-promoting capacity (IPC) was analyzed in relation to donor type (tumor or non-tumor patient), MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9 SNP genotype and MMP activity using independent samples t test and analysis of variance. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results Tumor-derived fibroblasts promoted higher levels of invasion than normal fibroblasts (p = 0.041). When IPC was related to genotype, higher levels of IPC were generated by tumor fibroblasts with the high-expressing MMP-3 5A/5A genotype compared with the 5A/6A and 6A/6A genotypes (p = 0.05 and 0.07, respectively), and this was associated with enhanced MMP-3 release. The functional importance of MMP-3 was demonstrated by enhanced invasion in the presence of recombinant MMP-3, whereas reduction occurred in the presence of a specific MMP-3 inhibitor. An inverse relationship was demonstrated between fibroblast IPC and the high-expressing MMP-1 genotype (p = 0.031), but no relationship was seen with MMP-9 SNP status. In contrast, normal fibroblasts showed no variation in IPC in relation to MMP genotype, with MMP-3 5A/5A fibroblasts exhibiting significantly lower levels of IPC than their tumor-derived counterparts (p = 0.04). Conclusion This study has shown that tumor-derived fibroblasts exhibit higher levels of IPC than normal fibroblasts and that the MMP-3 5A/5A genotype contributes to this through enhanced MMP-3 release. Despite a high-expressing genotype, normal fibroblasts do not exhibit higher IPC or enhanced MMP release. This suggests that more complex changes occur in tumor-derived fibroblasts, enabling full expression of the MMP SNP genotype and these possibly are epigenetic in nature. The results do suggest that, in women with breast cancer, a high-expressing MMP-3 genotype may promote tumor progression more effectively.