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Ursolic acid-induced down-regulation of MMP-9 gene is mediated through the nuclear translocation of glucocorticoid receptor in HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells



Ursolic acid-induced down-regulation of MMP-9 gene is mediated through the nuclear translocation of glucocorticoid receptor in HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells



Oncogene 16(6): 771-778, Feb 12



We have previously reported that ursolic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene acid, inhibited the invasion of HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells by reducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9. Since the chemical structure of ursolic acid is very similar to that of dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, we investigated whether ursolic acid acts through the glucocorticoid receptor. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 is thought to be regulated similarly with matrix metalloproteinase-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-3 as containing common 2-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-acetate responsible region, where AP-1 proteins can bind. Dexamethasone has been studied to repress the 2-O-tetradecanoylphorbolacetate-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-3 through a glucocorticoid receptor-mediated manner. In Northern blot analysis, we found that ursolic acid reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-3 induced by 2-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-acetate. Similarly, ursolic acid down-regulated 2-O-tetradecanoylphorbolacetate-induction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 gene in the same manner of dexamethasone. RU486, a potent glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, was used for identifying that ursolic acid-induced down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression is mediated by its binding to glucocorticoid receptor. The effect of ursolic acid on the matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression was blocked by RU486, suggesting that ursolic acid acts via a glucocorticoid receptor in the regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9. Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry showed that ursolic acid increased glucocorticoid receptor fraction in the nucleus, although it decreased the synthesis of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA. In addition, ursolic acid did not decrease the expression of c-jun and DNA-binding activity of AP-1 to its cognate sequences. Taken together, we suggest that ursolic acid may induce the repression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by stimulating the nuclear translocation of glucocorticoid receptor, and the translocated glucocorticoid receptor probably down-modulating the trans-activating function of AP-1 to 2-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-acetate responsible element of matrix metalloproteinase-9 promoter region.

Accession: 009702107

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PMID: 9488041

DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1201587


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