Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) control extracellular matrix (ECM) homeostasis by inhibiting the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are associated with ECM turnover. Recent studies have revealed that TIMPs are implicated in tumorigenesis in both MMP-dependent and MMP-independent manners. We examined a mechanism by which TIMP-2 stimulated lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation, independent of MMP inhibition. The stimulation of growth by TIMP-2 in A549 cells required c-Src kinase activation. c-Src kinase activity, induced by TIMP-2, concomitantly increased FAK, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase)/AKT, and ERK1/2 activation. Selective knockdown of integrin a3β1, known as a TIMP-2 receptor, did not significantly change TIMP-2 growth promoting activity. Furthermore, we showed that high TIMP-2 expression in lung adenocarcinomas is associated with a worse prognosis from multiple cohorts, especially for stage I lung adenocarcinoma. Through integrated analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas data, TIMP-2 expression was significantly associated with the alteration of driving genes, c-Src activation, and PI3-kinase/AKT pathway activation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that TIMP-2 stimulates lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation through c-Src, FAK, PI3-kinase/AKT, and ERK1/2 pathway activation in an MMP-independent manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes