Human collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is a member of the matrix metalloproteinase family of enzymes that was originally identified in breast carcinomas and subsequently detected during fetal ossification and in arthritic processes. In this work, we have found that collagenase-3 is produced by HCS-2/8 human chondrosarcoma cells. An analysis of the ability of different cytokines and growth factors to induce the expression of collagenase-3 in these cells revealed that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF or FGF-2) strongly up- regulated the expression of this gene. By contrast, other factors, including interleukin-1β and transforming growth factor-β, previously found to induce collagenase-3 expression in other cell types, did not exhibit any effect on the expression of this gene in chondrosarcoma cells. Further analysis of the bFGF-induced expression of collagenase-3 in human chondrosarcoma cells revealed that its effect was time and dose dependent, but independent of the de novo synthesis of proteins. Western blot analysis revealed that the up- regulatory effect of bFGF on collagenase-3 was also reflected at the protein level as demonstrated by the increase of immunoreactive protein in the conditioned medium of HCS-2/8 cells treated with bFGF. Immunohistochemical analysis of the presence of collagenase-3 in a series of 8 benign and 16 malignant cartilage-forming neoplasms revealed that all analyzed malignant chondrosarcomas stained positively for collagenase-3, whereas only 2 of 8 benign lesions produced this protease. In addition, the finding that bFGF was detected in all analyzed chondrosarcomas, together with the above in vitro studies on HCS-2/8 cells, suggest that this growth factor may be an in vivo modulator of collagenase-3 expression in these malignant tumors. These results extend the pattern of tumor types with ability to produce this matrix metalloproteinase and suggest that collagenase-3 up-regulation may contribute to the progression of human chondrosarcomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine