Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in glioma infiltration, facilitating cell migration and tumor invasion through their ability to degrade the extracellular matrix. Therefore, the inhibition of MMPs has been suggested to be a promising therapeutic strategy for brain tumors. This study examined the effect of ginsenoside Rh2 on the expression of MMPs in human astroglioma cells. Rh2 inhibited the PMA-induced mRNA expression of MMP-1, -3, -9, and -14, suggesting that Rh2 has a broad-spectrum inhibitory effect on MMPs. The molecular mechanism underlying MMP-9 inhibition was further investigated because MMP-9 plays a major role in the invasiveness of glioma. It was found that Rh2 inhibited the secretion and protein expression of MMP-9 induced by PMA in human astroglioma cells. The Rh2-mediated inhibition of MMP-9 gene expression appears to occur through NF-κB and AP-1 because their DNA binding and transcriptional activities were suppressed by the agent. Furthermore, Rh2 significantly repressed the PMA-mediated activation of p38 MAPK, ERK and JNK, which are upstream modulators of NF-κB and AP-1. Finally, Rh2 inhibited the in vitro invasiveness of glioma cells, which might be attributed to the broad-spectrum inhibition of MMPs by Rh2. Overall, the strong inhibition of MMP expression by Rh2 might provide a potential therapeutic modality for brain tumors.
- Glioma invasion
- MAP kinases