The expression of the metalloproteinase stromelysin correlates with the progression of chemically induced squamous cell carcinomas. We demonstrate that the expression of activated stromelysin in papilloma-derived cells enhances in vitro cell invasion. We also demonstrate that the Ha-ras oncogene induces the transcription of the stromelysin gene through an AP-1 dependent pathway. The hypothesis is that alterations in oncogenes and suppressor genes influence stromelysin expression and thus influence subsequent steps of tumor invasion and metastasis.
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