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 transforming growth factorβ (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 impacted 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. Additionally, BMMPIs are superior in promoting tumor apoptosis compared to the standard of care bisphosphonate, zoledronate. We demonstrated MMP-2 selective inhibition in the bone microenvironment using specific and broad spectrum MMP probes. Further, compared to zoledronate, BMMPI treated mice had significantly lower levels of TGFβ signaling and MMP generated type I collagen carboxy-terminal (ICTP) 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.
- Received May 17, 2016.
- Revision received December 5, 2016.
- Accepted December 7, 2016.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.