Proteases and cytokines as mediators of interactions between cancer and stromal cells in tumours

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Abstract

Proteolytic enzymes are highly relevant in different processes of cancer progression. Their interplay with other signalling molecules such as cytokines represents important regulation of multicellular cross-talk. In this review, we discuss protease regulation mechanisms of cytokine signalling in various types of cancer. Additionally, we highlight the reverse whereby cytokines have an impact on protease expression in an autocrine and paracrine manner, representing complex feedback mechanisms among multiple members of these two protein families. The relevance of the protease-cytokine axis is illustrated in glioblastoma, where interactions between normal mesenchymal stem cells and cancer cells play an important role in this very malignant form of brain cancer.

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