MMPs are a family of zinc-binding metalloproteinases that participate in the degradation of ECM components, including the basement membrane and the tumor surface, resulting in tumor cell migration into the near tissue. Furthermore, MMPs promote tumor growth and spread through the capillary endothelium and neovascularization (14).
Numerous studies have demonstrated the key participation of MMPs along with EMT to promote angiogenesis, infiltration by cancer cells, and metastasis ( 9 – 13 ).
However, expression patterns of all MMPs and their diagnostic and prognostic potential have not been investigated in a pan-cancer perspective. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data were used to evaluate diagnostic and prognostic potential of 24 MMPs in fifteen different cancer types.