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Is collagenase-3 (MMP-13) expression in chondrosarcoma of the jaws a true marker for tumor aggressiveness?

Manal M Zyada1* and Ali A Shamaa2

Author Affiliations

1 Oral Pathology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

2 Oral Biology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Minia University, Minia, Egypt

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Diagnostic Pathology 2008, 3:26  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-3-26

Published: 13 June 2008



Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in the modeling and remodeling of the extracellular matrix in both physiologic and pathologic states and thus plays an important role in tumor progression. Human collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is a member of matrix metalloproteinase family of enzymes that was originally identified in breast carcinomas and subsequently detected during fetal ossification and in arthritic processes.


The present study was designed to investigate the expression MMP-13 and to correlate its expression with clinicopathological parameters in chondrosarcoma of the jaws.


Archival tumor tissues from 11 patients with chondrosarcoma of the jaws were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for the expression of MMP-13. Clinical information was obtained through the computerized retrospective database from the tumor registry between 1998 to 2006.


Eight of 11 cases (72.8 %) of chondrosarcomas showed a positive reaction for MMP-13, whereas two cases of normal cartilage were negative for this collagenase. As regard the clinicopathological parameters, there was no correlation between MMP-13 expression and sex, age and tumor site. While, there were significant associations between MMP-13 expression and both of mitotic counts and necrosis. On the other hand, there was a significant difference between low and high grade tumors (P < 0.05) regarding MMP-13 expression. Also, there was no significant correlation between MMP-13 expression in primary lesions and their local recurrence.


MMP-13 is expressed in the majority of chondrosarcoma of the jaws. It is also noteworthy that the expression of MMP-13 may be related to tumor biological aggressiveness and used to aid in predicting patient's poor prognosis.