Membrane type I metalloproteinase (mt1-mmp) as a target in cancer : a study of two inhibitors.
Several diseases, including cancer, have been associated with high membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) expression levels. MT1-MMP together with a non-membrane-bound, soluble MMP, MMP-2, also associated with many other biological functions, have been implicated in breast cancer progression, invasion and metastasis, and poor prognosis. Researchers who ran early clinical trials that employed broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) lacked understanding of the intricate physiological and patho-physiological roles that MMPs play in tissues. In addition, structural similarities between MMPs hamper selective inhibition. Selective inhibition of MT1-MMP is of particular interest as MT1-MMP is overexpressed in target cancer cells relative to normal cells and is key in signalling for invasion. The inhibition profiles of two structurally similar synthetic pyrimidine-class MMPIs, with increased bioavailability and stability compared to hydroxamates tested in earlier clinical trials, TF 17-2 and TF 22d, were assessed. TF 17-2 and TF 22d were applied to a normal MCF-10A breast epithelial cell line and its premalignant H-ras(V12)-transfected MCF-10AneoT derivative to assess their efficacy for inhibiting MT1-MMP-mediated normal and premalignant cell migration, and indirectly, invasion. Both inhibitors form a co-ordination complex with the zinc ion of the catalytic site of MT1-MMP and MMP-2 with greater affinity for MT1-MMP. The computational molecular docking package, AutoDock Vina, was used for in silico predictions of binding affinities that could potentially substitute for in vitro kinetic assays when assessing inhibitor potential for inhibiting target MMPs. The binding of the two MMPIs was assessed using AutoDock Vina and compared to established kinetic data. The AutoDock Vina program was found to be an unreliable predictor for assessing relative efficacy of inhibition. During in vitro applications, analysis of the induction of apoptosis and metabolic effects were assessed using flow cytometry and the MTS assay, respectively. These showed no significant toxicity. Effects of inhibitors on collective and single cell migration in the normal and premalignant cell model, assessed using time lapse live cell imaging, cell morphology and labelling for vinculin and F-actin (for focal adhesions, FAs) showed that the TF 17-2 and TF 22d inhibitors reduced the collective cell migration of MCF-10A cells in scratch assays. Live-cell analysis of single cell migration, however, showed that TF 22d increased cell migration rates, and reduced the size of FAs and actin stability in MCF-10AneoT cells, resulting in a predominently rounded cell morphology in the premalignant cell line. TF 17-2, on the other hand was seen to be a relatively selective inhibitor of premalignant cell migration and resulted in MCF-10AneoT cells re-establishing larger focal - v - adhesions due to more stable F-actin networks resembling those of the non-transfected MCF-10A cell line, but reduced MCF-10AneoT cell migration most markedly. FA size and velocity of movement seemed inversely related in the normal and premalignant cells. The results of the current study suggest that, TF 17-2 seemed to have the greater therapeutic potential than TF 22d for inducing phenotype reversion, inhibition of dissemination, invasion and metastasis. Three promising selective pharmacological actions of TF 17-2 on the premalignant MCF10AneoT cell line include the suppression of proliferation, induction of increased in metabolic activity (possibly indicating cell stress) and a decrease in premalignant cell migration. A lack of cytotoxicity, however, suggests that TF 17-2 would need to be administered with an ancillary chemotherapeutic agent. This study showed that MMPIs directed against MT1-MMP, may still represent an effective strategy for inhibiting the migration of premalignant cells expressing high levels of MT1-MMP, and suggests further studies on this topic may be profitable.