Tissue factor/activated factor VIIa induces matrix metalloproteinase-7 expression through activation of c-Fos via ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in human colon cancer cell

Zhi-Chao Jia, Yuan-Lian Wan, Jian-Qiang Tang, Yun Dai, Yu-Cun Liu, Xin Wang, Jing Zhu
International Journal of Colorectal Disease 2012, 27 (4): 437-45

PURPOSE: Increased expression of tissue factor (TF) is associated with tumor invasion and metastasis in human colorectal cancer. We have previously observed that TF/FVIIa upregulates matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) expression at the transcriptional level in colon cancer cells. MMP-7 overexpression is believed to play an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which TF/FVIIa induced MMP-7 expression and cell invasion in vitro.

METHODS: Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, luciferase assay, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) were used to determine the potential mechanism and signaling pathways by which TF/FVIIa induced MMP-7 expression and cell invasion in LoVo cells. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) and cell invasion assay was used to examine whether blocking c-Fos expression could abolish FVIIa-mediated upregulation of MMP-7 and cell invasion in vitro.

RESULTS: The results showed that FVIIa induced the upregulation of MMP-7 both at the mRNA and protein levels in a time- and dose-dependent manner and increased the invasive behavior of LoVo cells. FVIIa enhanced the promoter activity of MMP-7, and the activator protein-1 (AP-1) binding site was responsible for the activation. Site mutation of the AP-1 binding site in the promoter almost completely abolished FVIIa-mediated response. Furthermore, ChIP assay confirmed that FVIIa promoted the direct binding of c-Fos with the MMP-7 promoter in vivo. FVIIa also induced the expression and nuclear accumulation of the AP-1 subunit c-Fos. siRNA-mediated knockdown of c-Fos eliminated FVIIa-stimulated MMP-7 expression and cell migration in vitro. In addition, selective mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK1/2) inhibitor (PD98059) and p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 suppressed MMP-7 upregulation induced by FVIIa.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that a novel TF/FVIIa/MAPK/c-Fos/MMP-7 axis plays an important role in modulating the invasion of colon cancer cells and blockage of this pathway holds promise to treat colon cancer metastasis.

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