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Biol Reprod. 2010 Sep;83(3):481-7. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.109.082578. Epub 2010 May 12.

Tumor necrosis factor stimulates matrix metalloproteinase 9 secretion from cultured human chorionic trophoblast cells through TNF receptor 1 signaling to IKBKB-NFKB and MAPK1/3 pathway.

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CIHR Group in Fetal Development and Health, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The identification of proinflammatory signal transduction pathways may suggest new therapeutic targets. In this study, we examine which signaling pathways are involved in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) secretion in human chorionic trophoblast (CT) cells. Purified CT cells were cultured in the presence of antibodies or chemical inhibitors that specifically block/inhibit distinct TNF receptors and kinase pathways. TNF-induced proMMP9 production, as measured by zymography, was significantly blocked/inhibited by TNF receptor 1 (TNFRSF1A) antibody, NFKB activation inhibitor (NFKBAI), and MAPK1/3 (ERK) inhibitor (U0126) (P < 0.01), but not by TNF receptor 2 (TNFRSF1B) antibody, MAPK14 (p38 MAPK) inhibitor (SB203580), and MAPK8/9/10 (JNK) inhibitor (SP600125). By Western blot analysis, we found that TNF rapidly and significantly increased phosphorylation of IKBKB, MAPK1/3, and MAPK8/9/10 and that the phosphorylation of these kinases by TNF was reduced significantly by TNFRSF1A neutralizing antibody, but not by TNFRSF1B neutralizing antibody. Moreover, we found that TNF increased TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) 1 and decreased TRAF2 protein expression through TNFRSF1A, but not TNFRSF1B. The CT cells that had increased TRAF1 and decreased TRAF2 after an initial TNF treatment demonstrated a dramatic deficiency in phosphorylation of the above protein kinases following a secondary TNF treatment. Localization of RELA subunit by immunocytochemistry was shifted to the nuclei after TNF treatment compared to cytosol in untreated controls. We also found cross-talk between the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway and ERK pathway. In summary, we have demonstrated that TNF stimulates proMMP9 production in CT cells through TNFRSF1A-TRAFs-IKBKB-NFKB and ERK signaling pathways, but not through TNFRSF1B and JNK/p38-AP-1 pathways.

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