Affiliation: Metastasis and Angiogenesis Research Group, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN; UK.
Matriptase-2 is a newly identified member of the Type II Transmembrane Serine Protease (TTSP) family. The expression profile of many members of this family of proteases is frequently altered in cancerous cells and tissues and a number of TTSPs have been linked to cancer progression and development. Matriptase-2 is structurally similar to matriptase-1, a TTSP which has gained recent interest due to its potential to enhance the aggressive nature of cancer cells and its links with a variety of human cancers. Recently, matriptase- 2 has been functionally linked to the regulation of iron metabolism; however, there is also evidence to suggest that, as with other members of the TTSPs, matriptase-2 may have a role in cancer development and progression. This article reviews the current literature on matriptase-2, together with its potential roles in physiological and disease states particularly focusing on cancer.