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Int J Oncol. 2001 Jan;18(1):71-9.

Regulation of the uPA gene in various grades of human glioma cells.

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Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Urokinase-type plasminogen (uPA) activator regulates a variety of processes, including morphogenesis, cell differentiation, migration, and invasion. In previous studies, we demonstrated that uPA levels are significantly higher in anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma than in low-grade glioma and normal brain tissue. In the present study, our goal was to determine whether the increase in uPA production in higher-grade gliomas is caused by an increase in mRNA stability or increased transcription of the gene in three human glioma cell lines of various grades (H4, SW1783, UWR3). The half-life of uPA mRNA was about 14 h in UWR3 and 8 h in SW1783 cells. In transient transfection studies of the wild-type -2109-bp human uPA promoter in the different grades of cell lines, the uPA promoter activity was increased two-fold in SW1783, anaplastic astrocytoma cells and six-fold in UWR3 glioblastoma cells, as compared with the uPA promoter activity in low-grade H4 cells. Using human uPA promoter chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) constructs with mutations of the AP-1 element at -1967 or the PEA-3 cis element at -1973, the activity of the uPA promoter was decreased 4-fold to 10-fold in all three human glioma cell lines. In transient transfection assays, the uPA promoter was stimulated 2.2-fold in UWR3 and SW1783 cells and 3.7-fold in H4 cells in response to phorbol-12-myristat-13-acetate. We further studied the activation and inhibition of uPA promoter by co-expression of a transactivation domain lacking c-jun: a dominant negative ERK1 and ERK2 mutant and a dominant negative c-raf in glioblastoma cell line showed repressed uPA promoter activity compared with the effect of the empty expression vector. We conclude from our findings that increased transcription is the more likely mechanism underlying the increase in uPA production in high-grade gliomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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