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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Expression of RECK and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in ameloblastoma

Bin Zhang1*, Jin Zhang2, Zhi-Ying Xu1 and Hong-Liang Xie1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, 107 Yanjiang Road West, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510120, PR China

2 Department of Internal Medicine, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, 107 Yanjiang Road West, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510120, PR China

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:427  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-427

Published: 8 December 2009



Ameloblastoma is a frequent odontogenic benign tumor characterized by local invasiveness, high risk of recurrence and occasional metastasis and malignant transformation. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) promotes tumor invasion and progression by destroying the extracellular matrix (ECM) and basement membrane. For this proteolytic activity, the endogenous inhibitor is reversion-inducing cysteine rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK). The aim of this study was to characterize the relationship between RECK and MMP-2 expression and the clinical manifestation of ameloblastoma.


Immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were employed to detect the protein and mRNA expression of RECK and MMP-2 in keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT), ameloblastoma and ameloblastic carcinoma.


RECK protein expression was significantly reduced in KCOT (87.5%), ameloblastoma (56.5%) and ameloblastic carcinoma (0%) (P < 0.01), and was significantly lower in recurrent ameloblastoma compared with primary ameloblastoma (P < 0.01), but did not differ by histological type of ameloblastoma. MMP-2 protein expression was significantly higher in ameloblastoma and ameloblastic carcinoma compared with KCOT (P < 0.01). RECK mRNA expression was significantly lower in ameloblastoma than in KCOT (P < 0.01), lower in recurrent ameloblastoma than in primary ameloblastoma, and was negative in ameloblastic carcinoma. MMP-2 mRNA expression was significantly higher in ameloblastoma compared with KCOT (P < 0.01), but was no different in recurrent ameloblastoma versus primary ameloblastoma. RECK protein expression was negatively associated with MMP-2 protein expression in ameloblastoma (r = -0.431, P < 0.01).


Low or no RECK expression and increased MMP-2 expression may be associated with negative clinical findings in ameloblastoma. RECK may participate in the invasion, recurrence and malignant transformation of ameloblastoma by regulating MMP-2 at the post-transcriptional level.