Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, which play a pivotal role in invasion, migration, and angiogenesis of glioma. Therefore, controlling MMPs is potentially an important therapeutic strategy for glioma. In the present study, we found that exogenous cell-permeable short-chain C2 ceramide inhibits phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-induced MMP-1, -3, and -9 gene expressions in U87MG and U373MG human astroglioma cells. In addition, C2 ceramide inhibited the protein secretion and enzymatic activities of MMP-1, -3, and -9. The Matrigel invasion assay and wound healing assay showed that C2 ceramide suppresses the in vitro invasion and migration of glioma cells, which appears to be involved in strong inhibition of MMPs by C2 ceramide. Subsequent mechanistic studies revealed that C2 ceramide inhibits PMA-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation and nuclear factor (NF)-?B/activator protein (AP)-1 DNA binding activities. Furthermore, C2 ceramide significantly inhibited PMA-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) expression, and inhibition of ROS by diphenylene iodonium (DPI, NADPH oxidase inhibitor) mimicked the effects of C2 ceramide on MMP expression and NF-?B/AP-1 via inhibition of p38 MAPK. The results suggest C2 ceramide inhibits MMP expression and glioma invasion, at least partly, by modulating ROS-p38 MAPK signaling axis and other MAPK signaling pathways.
- C2 ceramide
- Signaling mechanism