A bi-specific inhibitor targeting IL-17A and MMP-9 reduces invasion and motility in MDA-MB-231 cells

Dana Koslawsky, Marianna Zaretsky, Ron Alcalay, Ohad Mazor, Amir Aharoni, Niv Papo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The cytokine IL-17A is associated with the progression of various cancers, but little is known about the molecular cross-talk between IL-17A and other tumor-promoting factors. Previous studies have shown that the IL-17A-mediated invasion of breast cancer cells can be inhibited by selective antagonists of the matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), suggesting that the cross-talk between IL-17A and MMP-9 may promote cancer invasiveness and metastasis. Here, we present a novel strategy for developing cancer therapeutics, based on the simultaneous binding and inhibition of both IL-17A and MMP-9. To this end, we use a bi-specific heterodimeric fusion protein, comprising a natural inhibitor of MMPs (N-TIMP2) fused with an engineered extracellular domain (V3) of the IL-17A receptor. We show that, as compared with the mono-specific inhibitors of IL-17A (V3) and MMP-9 (N-TIMP2), the engineered bi-specific fusion protein inhibits both MMP-9 activation and IL-17A-induced cytokine secretion from fibroblasts and exhibits a synergistic inhibition of both the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, that dual targeting of inflammatory (IL-17A) and extracellular matrix remodeling (MMP) pathways can potentially be used as a novel therapeutic approach against cancer. Moreover, the platform developed here for generating the bi-specific IL-17A/MMP-9 inhibitor can be utilized for generating bi-specific inhibitors for other cytokines and MMPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28500-28513
Number of pages14
Issue number47
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2018


  • Cancer therapy
  • Cytokines
  • Drug design
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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