We previously showed that enhanced expression of MMP-9, an endopeptidase that digests basement-membrane type IV collagen, is related to tumor progression in vitro and in vivo; antisense-MMP-9 stably transfected clones were less invasive than untransfected parental cells and did not form tumors in nude mice. In this study, we examined the role of ERK-1 in the regulation of MMP-9 production and the invasive behavior of the human glioblastoma cell line SNB19, in which ERK1 is constitutively activated. SNB19 cells were stably transfected with mt-ERK, a vector encoding ERK-1 cDNA in which the conserved lysine at codon 71 was changed to arginine, thus impairing the catalytic efficiency of this enzyme. Gelatin zymography showed reduced levels of MMP-9 in the mt-ERK-transfected cell lines relative to those in vector-transfected and parental control cells. Reductions in MMP-9 protein mRNA levels were also detected in the mt-ERK-transfected cells by Western and Northern blotting. The mt-ERK-transfected cells were much less invasive than parental or vector control cells in a Matrigel invasion assay and in a spheroid coculture assay. Thus an ERK-dependent signaling pathway seems to regulate MMP-9 mediated glioma invasion in SNB19 cells; interfering with this pathway could be developed into a therapeutic approach, which aims at a reduction of cancer cell invasion.
- Extracellular signal regulated kinase
- Stable transfectants
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research