Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 Contributions to Tumor Cell Proliferation in Breast Cancer
My studies are centered on the role of host cell matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) contributions to tumor cell proliferation in breast cancer. MMP2 is an enzyme that is upregulated in many cancers and has multiple functions. Our preliminary data in mouse models demonstrate that there is reduced tumor cell growth in animals lacking MMP2 compared to wild type animals. This suggests that host stromal cells facilitate the growth of tumor cells in vivo. Our present focus is to determine the cells responsible for mediating tumor cell proliferation, the means by which this is accomplished, and whether or not this is MMP2 dependent. Because our in vitro studies suggest that MMP2 does not directly induce tumor cell growth and current literature suggests that fibroblasts support the growth of tumor cells in vivo,we hypothesize that MMP2 dependent fibroblast support of tumor cells mediates tumor cell growth in vivo.