Production and secretion of proteolytic enzymes by normal and neoplastic cells

J. Barry Boyd, Roderick M. Farb, Fred J. Yost, Nicholas Georgiade, Gerald S. Lazarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A possible mechanism for tumor cell invasion of normal tissue might be secretion of proteolytic enzymes. This study compares and contrasts production and secretion of proteinases by cell cultures of normal and chemically transformed mouse epithelial cells. Lysates of normal and neoplastic cells contain similar amounts of neutral proteinase, cathepsin D and plasminogen activator. Neither collagenase nor elastase could be identified in lysates of, or serumfree culture medium bathing, normal or neoplastic cells. Neoplastic cells secrete ten times more plasminogen activator than normal cells. Our data support the hypothesis that plasminogen activator produced by neoplastic cells could function to activate latent proteolytic enzymes secreted by connective tissue cells which might result in spread of neoplastic cells into normal tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • collagenase
  • neoplastic cells
  • plasminogen activato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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