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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 142359, 13 pages
Review Article

The Role of Mast Cell Specific Chymases and Tryptases in Tumor Angiogenesis

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and Pathogenic Bioagents, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 18 December 2014; Accepted 13 February 2015

Academic Editor: Francesco Moccia

Copyright © 2015 Devandir Antonio de Souza Junior et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An association between mast cells and tumor angiogenesis is known to exist, but the exact role that mast cells play in this process is still unclear. It is thought that the mediators released by mast cells are important in neovascularization. However, it is not known how individual mediators are involved in this process. The major constituents of mast cell secretory granules are the mast cell specific proteases chymase, tryptase, and carboxypeptidase A3. Several previous studies aimed to understand the way in which specific mast cell granule constituents act to induce tumor angiogenesis. A body of evidence indicates that mast cell proteases are the pivotal players in inducing tumor angiogenesis. In this review, the likely mechanisms by which tryptase and chymase can act directly or indirectly to induce tumor angiogenesis are discussed. Finally, information presented here in this review indicates that mast cell proteases significantly influence angiogenesis thus affecting tumor growth and progression. This also suggests that these proteases could serve as novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of various types of cancer.