IL-1β induces MMP-9 expression via a Ca2+-dependent CaMKII/JNK/c-Jun cascade in rat brain astrocytes

Cheng Ying Wu, Hsi Lung Hsieh, Chi Chin Sun, Chuen Mao Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

66 Scopus citations


Interleukin (IL)-1b has been shown to induce matrix metal-loproteinase (MMP)-9 expression through mitogen-activated protein kinases, including JNK, in rat brain astrocyte-1 (RBA-1) cells. However, little is known about whether JNK activated by Ca2+-dependent CaMKII is associated with MMP-9 expression induced by IL-1β. Here, we report that the Ca 2+/CaMKII/JNK/c-Jun participates in the MMP-9 expression induced by IL-1β. Zymographic, Western blotting, and RT-PCR analyses showed that IL-1β-induced expression of MMP-9 mRNA and protein was attenuated by Ca2+ chelator (BAPTA), and the inhibitors of ER Ca 2+-ATPase (thapsigargin), CaMKII (KN-62), and JNK1/2 (SP600125). IL-1β also stimulated phosphorylation of CaMKII and JNK1/2, and increase in intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i), which were inhibited by pretreatment with BAPTA, thapsigargin (TG), KN-62, or SP600125. Furthermore, the upregulation of MMP-9 protein was blocked by transfection with c-Jun or CaMKII short hairpin RNA (shRNA). We further confirmed that IL-1β stimulated c-Jun associated with AP-1-binding sites within MMP-9 promoter (-87 to -80 bp and -511 to -497 bp) by immunoprecipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR assays. The activation and recruitment of c-Jun to MMP-9 promoter were inhibited by pretreatment with BAPTA, TG, KN-62, or SP600125. Moreover, IL-1β-induced MMP-9 gene transcription by AP-1 was confirmed by transfection with a MMP-9 promoter-luciferase reporter plasmid with a distal AP-1-binding site (-511 to -497 bp) adjacent to an Ets-binding site-mutation (mt-AP1/Ets-MMP-9). These results demonstrated that in RBA-1 cells, JNK/c-Jun activation was mediated through a Ca2+-dependent CaMKII pathway that promoted transcription factor c-Jun/AP-1 recruitment and eventually led to increase in MMP-9 expression by IL-1β.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1775-1789
Number of pages15
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2009


  • Brain inflammation
  • Chromatin remodeling
  • Cytokines
  • MAPKs
  • Matrix metalloproteinases


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