Spontaneous lung and lymph node metastasis in transgenic breast cancer is independent of the urokinase receptor uPAR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is an extracellular protease that plays a pivotal role in tumor progression. uPA activity is spatially restricted by its anchorage to high-affinity uPA receptors (uPAR) at the cell surface. High tumor tissue expression of uPA and uPAR is associated with poor prognosis in lung, breast, and colon cancer patients in clinical studies. Genetic deficiency of uPA leads to a significant reduction in metastases in the murine transgenic MMTV-PyMT breast cancer model, demonstrating a causal role for uPA in cancer dissemination. To investigate the role of uPAR in cancer progression, we analyze the effect of uPAR deficiency in the same cancer model. uPAR is predominantly expressed in stromal cells in the mouse primary tumors, similar to human breast cancer. In a cohort of MMTV-PyMT mice [uPAR-deficient (n = 31) or wild type controls (n = 33)], tumorigenesis, tumor growth, and tumor histopathology were not significantly affected by uPAR deficiency. Lung and lymph node metastases were also not significantly affected by uPAR deficiency, in contrast to the significant reduction seen in uPA-deficient mice. Taken together, our data show that the genetic absence of uPAR does not influence the outcome of the MMTV-PyMT cancer model.


  • Kasper Almholt
  • Ole Didrik Laerum
  • Boye Schnack Nielsen
  • Ida Katrine Lund
  • Leif Roge Lund
  • John Romer
  • Annika Jögi
External organisations
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Metastasis, uPAR, Antibody, Mouse model, Breast cancer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-554
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch