Expression of membrane-type 5 matrix metalloproteinase in human endometrium and endometriosis

Regine Gaetje*, Uwe Holtrich, Knut Engels, Katherina Kourtis, Eva Cikrit, Stefan Kissler, Achim Rody, Thomas Karn, Manfred Kaufmann

*Corresponding author for this work
27 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic enzymes involved in tissue remodeling and cell migration. Endometrial tissue remodeling proceeds during the menstrual cycle and requires a temporary and spatially balanced expression of several different MMPs. Various members of the MMPs also seem to play an important role in the invasion process of endometriosis; however, so far only a limited number of studies have focused on membrane-associated MMPs. Methods. The present study investigated the expression of membrane-type 5 metalloproteinase (MT5-MMP) in the human endometrium and endometriotic lesions by microarray hybridization, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunofluorescence. Results. Both the gene chip expression analyses as well as PCR indicated expression of MT5-MMP in normal human endometrium and strongly elevated transcript levels in most peritoneal endometriosis lesions analyzed. Moreover we detected enhanced MT5-MMP expression in the eutopic endometrium from patients suffering from endometriosis, further supporting a role of MT5-MMP in the formation of endometriosis. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to determine the intracellular localization and tissue distribution of MT5-MMP. While the MT5-MMP antigen expression could be clearly attributed to the membrane of epithelial cells, a highly complex differential immunohistochemical staining of MT5-MMP in the various compartments of endometrial tissue was observed. The strongest staining was seen in luminal epithelial cells, whereas endometrial glands frequently showed partial expression of MT5-MMP. Conclusion. Our microarray analysis and real-time PCR of MT5-MMP transcripts may point to an elevated tissue remodeling and cell migration in endometrium from endometriosis patients as implied by the function of related MMPs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)567-573
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 10.2007


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