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Abstract #3471

Hypoxia Increases Degradation of the Extracellular Matrix by Human Breast Cancer Cells

Tariq Shah1, Balaji Krishnamachary1, Flonne Wildes1, Yelena Mironchik1, Zaver M. Bhujwalla1

1Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States

Hypoxia is frequently observed in tumor microenvironments and plays a significant role in the aggressive phenotype. The ability to degrade and invade into extracellular matrix (ECM) is a critical requirement in the metastatic cascade. The ability to metastasize is one of the most lethal aspects of cancer. Here, using our MR-compatible cell perfusion assay, we have investigated the effect of hypoxia on the ability of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells to degrade ECM. Hypoxia induced a significant increase of ECM degradation, and altered metabolism. These data suggest that hypoxia may be a potent facilitator of ECM degradation in tumors.