Neutrophils Oppose Uterine Epithelial Carcinogenesis via Debridement of Hypoxic Tumor Cells.
Leukocyte-derived proteinases have the capacity to degrade every component of the extracellular matrix, and thereby play fundamental roles in physiological processes. However, if the activity of these proteinases is uncontrolled or dysregulated, they have the capacity to contribute to tissue injury that potentially affects every organ in the body. Although there is a substantial literature on structure and activity of these proteinases when they are free in solution, until recently there has been little information about the cell biology of proteinases and their inhibitors. Recent studies, however, have identified several mechanisms by which inflammatory cells can degrade extracellular proteins in a milieu that contains high-affinity proteinase inhibitors.