MMP11, a tumor biomarker, has long been found to be associated with tumor progression in certain types of cancer, including breast, liver and colon.
In the new study, researchers from Hefei Institutes of Physical Science under Chinese Academy of Sciences tried to decide its role in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), the most common type of lung cancer.
The researchers first performed gene expression profiling on datasets of LUAD patients, and found the expression of MMP11 increased in both tumor tissues and sera from LUAD patients.
Further studies showed that MMP11 played a key role in promoting the proliferation, migration and invasion of tumor cells.
They then used anti-MMP11 antibody to treat human LUAD cell lines, and the growth and migration of cancer cells were significantly slowed.
In animal studies, administration of anti-MMP11 antibody at a a dose of 1 microgram per gram body weight could significantly suppress tumor growth with mice transplanted with human LUAD tissues.
Driver genes refer to genes that help a malignant cancer to form and grow. The researchers said the study indicated that MMP11 was a potential driver gene associated with LUAD and holds potential to be a target for treating lung cancer.
The researchers reported their findings in the U.S. journal Molecular Therapy-Oncolytics.