Senescent cancer-associated fibroblasts secrete active MMP-2 that promotes keratinocyte dis-cohesion and invasion

Yazan M Y Hassona, Nicola Cirillo, Kate J Heesom, EK Parkinson, Stephen S Prime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)
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Previous studies have demonstrated that senescent cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) derived from genetically unstable oral squamous cell carcinomas (GU-OSCC), unlike non-senescent CAFs from genetically stable carcinomas (GS-OSCC), promoted keratinocyte invasion in vitro in a paracrine manner. The mechanism by which this occurs is unclear.

Previous work to characterise the senescent-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) has used antibody arrays, technology that is limited by the availability of suitable antibodies. To extend this work in an unbiased manner, we used 2D gel electrophoresis and mass spectroscopy for protein identification. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were investigated by gelatin zymography and western blotting. Neutralising antibodies were used to block key molecules in the functional assays of keratinocyte adhesion and invasion.

Among a variety of proteins that were differentially expressed between CAFs from GU-OSCC and GS-OSCC, MMP-2 was a major constituent of senescent CAF-CM derived from GU-OSCC. The presence of active MMP-2 was confirmed by gelatine zymography. MMP-2 derived from senescent CAF-CM induced keratinocyte dis-cohesion and epithelial invasion into collagen gels in a TGF-β-dependent manner.

Senescent CAFs from GU-OSCC promote a more aggressive oral cancer phenotype by production of active MMP-2, disruption of epithelial adhesion and induction of keratinocyte invasion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230–1237
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2014


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