Cancer research

Androgen-Induced TMPRSS2 Activates Matriptase and Promotes Extracellular Matrix Degradation, Prostate Cancer Cell Invasion, Tumor Growth, and Metastasis.

PMID 26018085


Dysregulation of androgen signaling and pericellular proteolysis is necessary for prostate cancer progression, but the links between them are still obscure. In this study, we show how the membrane-anchored serine protease TMPRSS2 stimulates a proteolytic cascade that mediates androgen-induced prostate cancer cell invasion, tumor growth, and metastasis. We found that matriptase serves as a substrate for TMPRSS2 in mediating this proinvasive action of androgens in prostate cancer. Further, we determined that higher levels of TMPRSS2 expression correlate with higher levels of matriptase activation in prostate cancer tissues. Lastly, we found that the ability of TMPRSS2 to promote prostate cancer tumor growth and metastasis was associated with increased matriptase activation and enhanced degradation of extracellular matrix nidogen-1 and laminin β1 in tumor xenografts. In summary, our results establish that TMPRSS2 promotes the growth, invasion, and metastasis of prostate cancer cells via matriptase activation and extracellular matrix disruption, with implications to target these two proteases as a strategy to treat prostate cancer.