Bone metastasis is common during breast cancer progression. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is significantly associated with aggressive breast cancer and poorer overall survival. In bone, tumor- or host-derived MMP-2 contributes to breast cancer growth and does so by processing substrates, including type I collagen and TGFβ latency proteins. These data provide strong rationale for the application of MMP-2 inhibitors to treat the disease. However, in vivo, MMP-2 is systemically expressed. Therefore, to overcome potential toxicities noted with previous broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors (MMPIs), we used highly selective bisphosphonic-based MMP-2 inhibitors (BMMPIs) that allowed for specific bone targeting. In vitro, BMMPIs affected the viability of breast cancer cell lines and osteoclast precursors, but not osteoblasts. In vivo, we demonstrated using two bone metastatic models (PyMT-R221A and 4T1) that BMMPI treatment significantly reduced tumor growth and tumor-associated bone destruction. In addition, BMMPIs are superior in promoting tumor apoptosis compared with the standard-of-care bisphosphonate, zoledronate. We demonstrated MMP-2–selective inhibition in the bone microenvironment using specific and broad-spectrum MMP probes. Furthermore, compared with zoledronate, BMMPI-treated mice had significantly lower levels of TGFβ signaling and MMP-generated type I collagen carboxy-terminal fragments. Taken together, our data show the feasibility of selective inhibition of MMPs in the bone metastatic breast cancer microenvironment. We posit that BMMPIs could be easily translated to the clinical setting for the treatment of bone metastases given the well-tolerated nature of bisphosphonates. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(3); 494–505. ©2017 AACR.
This article is featured in Highlights of This Issue, p. 415
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received May 17, 2016.
- Revision received December 5, 2016.
- Accepted December 7, 2016.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.