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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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The Protease Inhibitor Bikunin, a Novel Anti-Metastatic Agent

H. Kobayashi / M. Suzuki / Y. Hirashima / T. Terao

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 384, Issue 5, Pages 749–754, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2003.083, June 2005

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Bikunin is a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor predominantly found in human amniotic fluid. In cancers, administration of bikunin may block tumor cell invasion by a direct inhibition of tumor cell-associated plasmin activity as well as by inhibiting urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) expression at the gene and protein levels, possibly through suppression of CD44 dimerization and/or the MAP kinase signaling cascade. Treatment of cancer patients with bikunin may be beneficial in the adjuvant setting to delay the onset of metastasis development and/or in combination with cytotoxic agents to improve treatment efficacy in patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

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