The cervical cancer represents a significant worldwide health public problem. The Human Papilomavirus (HPV) is described as the main risk factor for cervical cancer and the oncogenic types HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the most common in this pathology. The interaction between HPV and the extracellular matrix (ECM) is fundamental for the carcinogenesis process, once neoplasia can change the controlled interaction of cells and extracellular matrix, influencing proliferation and tumoral invasion. The ECM is a complex structure constituted by secreted proteins and glycoconjugates, capable of regulating essential cellular functions like, differentiation, gene expression, division and cellular migration control. Besides that it is crucial in mediation and regulation of adherence, signalization during morphogenesis, tissue homeostasis, cicatrization and tumoral genesis. It is suggested that high risk HPV can modify the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which are important for cellular adherence and to establish appropriated cellular differentiation. The MMPs regulate and cleave almost all ECM component proteins, and MMP-7 (matrilysin or uterine metalloproteinase) is an important representative of the development of carcinogenesis. The importance of MMP-7 is highlighted by clinical data that associate MMP-7 expression with the decrease of survival in patients with cervical cancer. Researches have shown that endothelial expression of MMP-7 could be a marker of clinical prognosis. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate a possible association between MMP-7 and different stages of cervical carcinogenesis, to improve the comprehension on the influence of the adhesion control, and what it means in the events of malignant transformation.
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