Expression of membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-14) in epithelial ovarian cancer: High level expression in clear cell carcinoma

Brian P. Adley, Kara J. Gleason, Ximing J. Yang, M. Sharon Stack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective: Clear cell carcinomas of the ovary constitute approximately 5% of all ovarian neoplasms and have a distinct gene expression profile relative to other ovarian carcinoma histotypes. Tumors often present as an early stage large pelvic mass with a high degree of recurrence and frequent early metastasis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a role in intraperitoneal metastasis through breakdown of cell-cell and cell-matrix barriers, enabling anchoring of secondary lesions and promoting proliferation in a geometrically constrained matrix environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate MMP expression in ovarian clear cell carcinoma. Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate expression of membrane type 1 MMP (MMP-14), MMP-2 and MMP-9 in a panel of ovarian tumors. Western blotting and gelatin zymography were used to examine MMP-14 expression and activity in the clear cell carcinoma cell line ES2. The ability of ES2 cells to invade and proliferate within three-dimensional collagen gels was evaluated. Results: High level expression of MMP-14 and MMP-2 were observed in ovarian clear cell carcinoma relative to other histotypes (94-95% strong positive). MMP-14 was expressed and active in cultured ES2 cells. ES2 cells also exhibited MMP-dependent invasion of and proliferation within three-dimensional collagen gels. Conclusions: The high level expression of MMP-14 together with in vitro functional analyses suggest that MMP-14 may contribute to both the proliferative capacity and the enhanced parenchymal metastasis of ovarian clear cell carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Invasion
  • MMP-14
  • MMP-2
  • Matrix metalloprotease (MMP)
  • Metastasis
  • Ovarian clear cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology


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