Molecular events involved in the increased expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by T lymphocytes of mammary tumor-bearing mice

Jennifer L. Owen, Marta Torroella-Kouri, Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of extracellular proteinases whose contributions to cancer progression have been studied because of their matrix-degrading abilities and elevated expression in advanced stage tumors. Recent findings suggest a role for MMPs during the multiple stages of tumor progression including establishment and growth, migration, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. MMP-9 regulation at the molecular level can be studied by measuring the effect(s) of a variety of physiological and pharmacological agents on cells. Multiple signaling molecules such as protein kinase C, pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide-binding protein G, and protein tyrosine kinases are known to mediate the secretion of MMPs in cell lines. We previously reported an upregulation of MMP-9 in T cells of mammary tumor-bearing mice. In this study, pharmacologic inhibitors were used to dissect the signaling pathways involved in the upregulation of MMP-9 in the splenic T cells of normal and mammary tumor-bearing mice. Staurosporine, a protein kinase inhibitor, stimulated MMP-9 secretion by normal T lymphocytes, while the constitutively high levels of MMP-9 produced by tumor bearers' T cells were decreased by Genistein, a specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and Rottlerin, a PKC inhibitor. Using a NF-κB specific probe to the murine MMP-9 promoter, electromobility shift assays of nuclear proteins from normal and tumor bearers' splenic T cells revealed a pattern of higher intensity bands from the tumor bearers' nuclear extracts, indicating a greater amount of these transcription factors bound to the recognition motif. When mammary tumor bearers' T cells were cultured with the NF-κB inhibitors, N-p-Tosyl-L-lysine chloromethyl ketone hydrochloride and Bay 11-7082, there was a subsequent decreased production of MMP-9. These results suggest that the tumor burden may be activating various signaling pathways within splenic T lymphocytes to upregulate MMP-9 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of molecular medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Mammary tumor
  • Matrix metalloproteinase-9
  • Signaling
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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