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Rasch M.G.,The Finsen Laboratory | Lund I.K.,The Finsen Laboratory | Illemann M.,The Finsen Laboratory | Hoyer-Hansen G.,The Finsen Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Protein Expression and Purification | Year: 2010

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is a 92-kDa soluble pro-enzyme implicated in pathological events including cancer invasion. It is therefore an attractive target for therapeutic intervention studies in mouse models. Development of inhibitors requires sufficient amounts of correctly folded murine MMP-9. Constructs encoding zymogens of full-length murine MMP-9 and a version lacking the O-glycosylated linker region and hemopexin domains were therefore generated and expressed in stably transfected Drosophila S2 insect cells. After 7 days of induction the expression levels of the full-length and truncated versions were 5 mg/l and 2 mg/l, respectively. The products were >95% pure after gelatin Sepharose chromatography and possessed proteolytic activity when analyzed by gelatin zymography. Using the purified full-length murine MMP-9 we raised polyclonal antibodies by immunizations of rabbits. These antibodies specifically identified pro-MMP-9 in incisional skin wound extracts from mice when used for Western blotting. Immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin embedded skin wounds from mice showed that MMP-9 protein was localized at the leading-edge keratinocytes in front of the migrating epidermal layer. No immunoreactivity was observed when the antibody was probed against skin wound material from MMP-9 deficient mice. In conclusion, we have generated and purified two proteolytically active recombinant murine MMP-9 protein constructs, which are critical reagents for future cancer drug discovery studies. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Kriegbaum M.C.,Innovation Center Denmark | Clausen O.P.F.,University of Oslo | Laerum O.D.,University of Bergen | Ploug M.,Innovation Center Denmark | Ploug M.,Danish Chinese Center for Proteases and Cancer
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry | Year: 2015

C4.4A and Haldisin belong to the Ly6/uPAR/α-neurotoxin protein domain family. They exhibit highly regulated expression profiles in normal epidermis, where they are confined to early (C4.4A) and late (Haldisin) squamous differentiation. We have now explored if dysregulated expressions occur in non-invasive and invasive skin lesions. In non-invasive lesions, their expression signatures were largely maintained as defined by that of normal epidermis. The scenario was, however, markedly different in the progression towards invasive squamous cell carcinomas. In its non-invasive stage (carcinoma in situ), a pronounced attenuation of C4.4A expression was observed, but upon transition to malignant invasive squamous cell carcinomas, the invasive fronts regained high expression of C4.4A. A similar progression was observed for the early stages of benign infiltrating keratoacanthomas. Interestingly, this transition was accompanied by a shift in the predominant association of C4.4A expression with CK1/10 in the normal epidermis to CK5/14 in the invasive lesions. In contrast, Haldisin expression maintained its confinement to the most-differentiated cells and was hardly expressed in the invasive lesions. Because this altered expression of C4.4A was seen in the invasive front of benign (keratoacanthomas) and malignant (squamous cell carcinomas) neoplasms, we propose that this transition of expression is primarily related to the invasive process. © The Author(s) 2014. Source


Persson M.,Danish Chinese Center for Proteases and Cancer | Persson M.,Copenhagen University | Persson M.,The BRIC | Juhl K.,Nuclear Medicine and PET | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Pharmaceutics | Year: 2014

The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is implicated in cancer invasion and metastatic development in prostate cancer and provides therefore an attractive molecular target for both imaging and therapy. In this study, we provide the first in vivo data on an antimetastatic effect of uPAR radionuclide targeted therapy in such lesions and show the potential of uPAR positron emission tomography (PET) imaging for identifying small foci of metastatic cells in a mouse model of disseminating human prostate cancer. Two radiolabeled ligands were generated in high purity and specific activity: a uPAR-targeting probe (177Lu-DOTA-AE105) and a nonbinding control (177Lu-DOTA-AE105mut). Both uPAR flow cytometry and ELISA confirmed high expression levels of the target uPAR in PC-3M-LUC2.luc cells, and cell binding studies using 177Lu-DOTA-AE105 resulted in a specific binding with an IC50 value of 100 nM in a competitive binding experiment. In vivo, uPAR targeted radionuclide therapy significantly reduced the number of metastatic lesions in the disseminated metastatic prostate cancer model, when compared to vehicle and nontargeted 177Lu groups (p < 0.05) using bioluminescence imaging. Moreover, we found a significantly longer metastatic-free survival, with 65% of all mice without any disseminated metastatic lesions present at 65 days after first treatment dose (p = 0.047). In contrast, only 30% of all mice in the combined control groups treated with 177Lu-DOTA-AE105mut or vehicle were without metastatic lesions. No treatment-induced toxicity was observed during the study as evaluated by observing animal weight and H&E staining of kidney tissue (dose-limiting organ). Finally, uPAR PET imaging using 64Cu-DOTA-AE105 detected all small, disseminated metastatic foci when compared with bioluminescence imaging in a cohort of animals during the treatment study. In conclusion, uPAR targeted radiotherapy resulted in a significant reduction in the number of metastatic lesions in a human metastatic prostate cancer model. Furthermore, we have provided the first evidence of the potential for identification of small metastatic lesions using uPAR PET imaging in disseminated prostate cancer, illustrating the promising strategy of uPAR theranostics in prostate cancer. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source


Hansen L.,University of Aarhus | Unmack Larsen E.K.,University of Aarhus | Nielsen E.H.,University of Aarhus | Iversen F.,University of Aarhus | And 9 more authors.
Nanoscale | Year: 2013

Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) nanoparticles are currently being used as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent in vivo, mainly by their passive accumulation in tissues of interest. However, a higher specificity can ideally be achieved when the nanoparticles are targeted towards cell specific receptors and this may also facilitate specific drug delivery by an enhanced target-mediated endocytosis. We report efficient peptide-mediated targeting of magnetic nanoparticles to cells expressing the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), a surface biomarker for poor patient prognosis shared by several cancers including breast, colorectal, and gastric cancers. Conjugation of a uPAR specific targeting peptide onto polyethylene glycol (PEG) coated USPIO nanoparticles by click chemistry resulted in a five times higher uptake in vitro in a uPAR positive cell line compared to nanoparticles carrying a non-binding control peptide. In accordance with specific receptor-mediated recognition, a low uptake was observed in the presence of an excess of ATF, a natural ligand for uPAR. The uPAR specific magnetic nanoparticles can potentially provide a useful supplement for tumor patient management when combined with MRI and drug delivery. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Kriegbaum M.C.,The Finsen Laboratory | Jacobsen B.,The Finsen Laboratory | Hald A.,Copenhagen University | Ploug M.,The Finsen Laboratory | Ploug M.,Danish Chinese Center for Proteases and Cancer
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry | Year: 2011

The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored C4.4A was originally identified as a metastasis-associated protein by differential screening of rat pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. C4.4A is accordingly expressed in various human carcinoma lesions. Although C4.4A is a structural homolog of the urokinase receptor (uPAR), which is implicated in cancer invasion and metastasis, no function has so far been assigned to C4.4A. To assist future studies on its function in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions, the present study provide a global survey on C4.4A expression in the normal mouse by a comprehensive immunohistochemical mapping. This task was accomplished by staining paraffin-embedded tissues with a specific rabbit polyclonal anti-C4.4A antibody. In the adult mouse, C4.4A was predominantly expressed in the suprabasal layers of the squamous epithelia of the oral cavity, esophagus, non-glandular portion of the rodent stomach, anus, vagina, cornea, and skin. This epithelial confinement was particularly evident from the abrupt termination of C4.4A expression at the squamo-columnar transition zones found at the ano-rectal and utero-vaginal junctions, for example. During mouse embryogenesis, C4.4A expression first appears in the developing squamous epithelium at embryonic day 13.5. This anatomical location of C4.4A is thus concordant with a possible functional role in early differentiation of stratified squamous epithelia. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

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