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J Cell Biochem. 2007 Oct 1;102(2):506-14.

Ascochlorin suppresses oxLDL-induced MMP-9 expression by inhibiting the MEK/ERK signaling pathway in human THP-1 macrophages.

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Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu 705-718, Korea.


The critical initiating event in atherogenesis involves the invasion of monocytes through the endothelial walls of arteries and the transformation of monocytes from macrophages into foam cells. Human THP-1 monocytic cells can be induced to differentiate into macrophages by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and can then be converted into foam cells by exposure to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL). Also, during a chronic inflammatory response, monocytes/macrophages produce the 92-kDa matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) that may contribute to the extravasation, migration, and tissue remolding capacities of the phagocytic cells. Here, we investigate the effect of ascochlorin (ASC), a prenylphenol antiviral compound from the fungus Ascochyta viciae, on oxLDL-induced MMP-9 expression and activity in human THP-1 macrophages. ASC reduced oxLDL-induced MMP-9 expression and activity in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner. Also, an analysis of MMP-9 activity using pharmacologic inhibitors showed that ASC inhibits MMP-9 activity via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and kinase 2 pathways. Our results suggest that ASC may be useful as a potent clinical antiatherogenic agent, a topic of considerable interest in the biological chemistry of chemotherapeutic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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