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Cathepsin B, a thiol protease, has been reported to be involved in cancer progression and metastasis. The suppressive effects of two kinds of protease inhibitors, leupeptin and dietary camostate (FOY-305), on tumorigenesis and progression in 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced rat colon neoplasm were examined in relation to tissue cathepsin B activity. Male Donryu rats were treated with leupeptin or FOY-305 during or after the administration of DMH. There were no significant differences in average tumor numbers among all DMH-treated groups. However, the percentage of small tumors was significantly higher in the group in which leupeptin was supplied during DMH administration. This trend was not recognized in the FOY-305-treated groups. The ratio of cathepsin B activity in the tumors to that in the tumor-bearing tissue (T/Tb) was significantly increased with increasing tumor size (P = 0.009). The cathepsin B activity levels in the tumor-bearing mucosa in the groups which received leupeptin or FOY-305 following DMH treatment were both significantly lower than that in the group which received neither protease inhibitor (P = 0.046 and P = 0.0067, respectively). The results obtained indicate that leupeptin may have suppressed tumor growth by lowering the tissue cathepsin B activity.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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