Suppression of phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced tumor cell invasion by piperine via the inhibition of PKCα/ERK1/2-dependent matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression

Yong Pil Hwang, Hyo Jeong Yun, Hyung Gyun Kim, Eun Hee Han, Jae Ho Choi, Young Chul Chung, Hye Gwang Jeong
Toxicology Letters 2011 May 30, 203 (1): 9-19
Piperine is a major component of black pepper, Piper nigrum Linn, used widely in traditional medicine. Several previous studies reported that piperine possesses various beneficial biological activities including antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-inflammation properties. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of piperine on tumor invasion and migration and the possible mechanisms involved using human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells. We found that piperine suppresses PMA-enhanced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression at the protein, mRNA, and transcriptional levels through the suppression of NF-κB and AP-1 activation without changing the level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1. Piperine also inhibits PMA-enhanced membrane-type 1 MMP expression without changing the level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2. Piperine inhibited PMA-induced NF-κB and c-Jun nuclear translocation, which are upstream of PMA-induced MMP-9 expression and invasion. Furthermore, piperine strongly repressed the PMA-induced phosphorylation of ERK, which are dependent on the PKCα pathway. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the anti-invasive effects of piperine may occur through inhibition of PKCα and ERK phosphorylation and reduction of NF-κB and AP-1 activation, leading to down-regulation of MMP-9 expression. Thus, piperine has potential as a potent anti-cancer drug in therapeutic strategies for fibrosarcoma metastasis.

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