The role of matrix metalloproteinases in pathogenesis of human bladder cancer

  • Tomasz Wiśniowski Department of Urology and Urological Oncology, St. John of God Independent Public Provincial Hospital, Lublin, Poland
  • Jarosław Bryda Department of Veterinary Hygiene, Voivodship Veterinary Inspectorate, Lublin, Poland
  • Jacek Kurzepa Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
  • Sławomir Wątroba Department of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Independent Public Healthcare, Puławy, Poland


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in many physiological and pathological processes, including neoplastic processes. They belong to a group of enzymes called endopeptidases and have the ability to hydrolyze all proteins in the extracellular matrix (ECM). They are produced in most connective tissue cells, macrophages, leukocytes, endothelial cells, microglial cells and in cancer cells. Neoplastic diseases are one of the main causes of death in Poland and in the world, therefore learning about the process of carcinogenesis seems to be particularly important. The process of carcinogenesis is currently widely studied and MMPs play one of the key roles in the development of cancer. They do this by regulating local tumor growth, stromal invasion, stimulating angiogenesis and metastasis formation. Bladder cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the male population and the 11th most common cancer in the world. In bladder cancer, most studies have been devoted to MMP-2 and MMP-9, that are enzymes responsible for the degradation of type IV collagen in the first place, which through the destruction of basement membranes and ECM, play an essential role in the tumor invasion process. Since bladder cancer is characterized by the ability to relapse, from the point of view of clinical practice it seems particularly important to develop a marker of early bladder tumor recurrence. MMPs detected in the urine and serum of patients with bladder cancer are potential factors that could play such a role.