A two-step sandwich enzyme immunoassay (EIA) system for the detection of human membrane Type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) was established by using two monoclonal antibodies against recombinant MT1-MMP. MT1-MMP in which samples were reacted with solid-phase antibody and then detected with peroxidase-labeled second antibody. At least 1.25 ng/mL was detected by the EIA system, and linearity was obtained between 1.25 and 160 ng/mL. This EIA system is specific for MT1-MMP and did not show cross-reactivity against several other MMP's examined. Shedding of soluble MT1-MMP into the medium by some cancer cell lines was also detected by this system. However, soluble MT1-MMP in serum from normal and cancer patients was under the detection limit. Membrane-associated MT1-MMP of cancer cell lines was also detected after solubilization of the membranes with extraction buffer containing detergent. Additionally, MT1-MMP in clinical samples was examined. Elevated levels of MT1-MMP were detected in homogenate of cancer tissue compared with the levels for normal tissue and the level of MT1-MMP in tumors correlated with the rate of metastasis to the regional lymph nodes. Thus, we demonstrated that this EIA system is the first to measure MT1-MMP in clinical specimens, thus suggesting its useful for diagnosis of cancer or prediction of malignancy.
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