Matrix metalloproteinase 12 is induced by heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K and promotes migration and invasion in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

I. Che Chung, Lih Chyang Chen, An Ko Chung, Mei Chao, Hsin Yi Huang, Chuen Hsueh, Ngan Ming Tsang, Kai Ping Chang, Ying Liang, Hsin Pai Li*, Yu Sun Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Overexpression of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K), a DNA/RNA binding protein, is associated with metastasis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, the mechanisms underlying hnRNP K-mediated metastasis is unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in hnRNP K-mediated metastasis in NPC. Methods: We studied hnRNP K-regulated MMPs by analyzing the expression profiles of MMP family genes in NPC tissues and hnRNP K-knockdown NPC cells using Affymetrix microarray analysis and quantitative RT-PCR. The association of hnRNP K and MMP12 expression in 82 clinically proven NPC cases was determined by immunohistochemical analysis. The hnRNP K-mediated MMP12 regulation was determined by zymography and Western blot, as well as by promoter, DNA pull-down and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. The functional role of MMP12 in cell migration and invasion was demonstrated by MMP12-knockdown and the treatment of MMP12-specific inhibitor, PF-356231. Results: MMP12 was overexpressed in NPC tissues, and this high level of expression was significantly correlated with high-level expression of hnRNP K (P = 0.026). The levels of mRNA, protein and enzyme activity of MMP12 were reduced in hnRNP K-knockdown NPC cells. HnRNP K interacting with the region spanning -42 to -33 bp of the transcription start site triggered transcriptional activation of the MMP12 promoter. Furthermore, inhibiting MMP12 by MMP12 knockdown and MMP12-specific inhibitor, PF-356231, significantly reduced the migration and invasion of NPC cells.Conclusions: Overexpression of MMP12 was significantly correlated with hnRNP K in NPC tissues. HnRNP K can induce MMP12 expression and enzyme activity through activating MMP12 promoter, which promotes cell migration and invasion in NPC cells. In vitro experiments suggest that NPC metastasis with high MMP12 expression may be treated with PF-356231. HnRNP K and MMP12 may be potential therapeutic markers for NPC, but additional validation studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number348
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 05 2014

Keywords

  • Invasion
  • MMP12
  • Migration
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • hnRNP K

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