Open Access Open Badges Research article

Urinary high molecular weight matrix metalloproteinases as non-invasive biomarker for detection of bladder cancer

Mohammed A Mohammed1, Manar F Seleim2, Mohga S Abdalla2, Hayat M Sharada2 and Abdel Hady A Abdel Wahab1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cancer Biology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Helwan, Egypt

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BMC Urology 2013, 13:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-25

Published: 14 May 2013



Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are key molecules for tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. Over-expression of different MMPs in tumor tissues can disturb the homeostasis and increase the level of various body fluids. Many MMPs including high molecular weights (HMWs) were detected in the urine of prostate and bladder cancer patients. Our aim here is to assess the usefulness of HMW MMPs as non invasive biomarkers in bilharzial bladder cancer in Egyptian patients.


The activity of different MMPs including HMW species was determined using zymographic analysis technique in the urine samples procured from sixty six bladder cancer patients (bilharzial and non-bilharzial) as well as hundred healthy control subjects. Also, the correlation between these HMW MMPs activities and different clinico-pathological parameters was investigated.


High frequency of urine MMPs (uMMPs) activity was determined in 63.6% of examined tumor cases, however, none of the control cases showed any uMMPs activity. MMP-9 had the highest activity (62%) followed by MMP9/NGAL (60%), MMP-2 (54.5%), MMP-9 dimer (53%), ADAMTS (25.6%), and the lowest one was MMP-9/TIMP-1 (12%) only. There was no correlation between uMMPs and any of clinico-pathological parameters including age, gender, tumor size and type, bilharziasis, grade, lymph node involvement, and invasion to the prostate. A significant correlation was established only between MMP-9/TIMP-1 activities with the tumor size.


This study revealed that the detection of urinary MMPs including HMWs activity might be sensitive biomarkers for prediction of bladder cancer. It is also demonstrate that the detection of these urinary HMW gelatinases could not differentiate between bilharzial and non bilharzial bladder cancer subtypes.

Bladder cancer; High molecular weight matrix metalloproteinases; Early detection; Biomarkers