Background: The CD133(+) stem cell population in recurrent gliomas is associated with clinical features such as therapy resistance, blood-brain barrier disruption and, hence, tumor infiltration. Screening of a large panel of glioma samples increasing histological grade demonstrated frequencies of CD133(+) cells which correlated with high expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and of membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP). Methods: We used qRT-PCR and immunoblotting to examine the molecular interplay between MT1-MMP and COX-2 gene and protein expression in parental, CD133(+), and neurospheres U87 glioma cell cultures. Results: We found that CD133, COX-2 and MT1-MMP expression were enhanced when glioma cells were cultured in neurosphere conditions. A CD133(+)- enriched U87 glioma cell population, isolated from parental U87 cells with magnetic cell sorting technology, also grew as neurospheres and showed enhanced COX-2 expression. MT1-MMP gene silencing antagonized COX-2 expression in neurospheres, while overexpression of recombinant MT1-MMP directly triggered COX-2 expression in U87 cells independent from MT1-MMP's catalytic function. COX-2 induction by MT1-MMP was also validated in wild-type and in NF-κB p65-/- mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts, but was abrogated in NF-κB1 (p50-/-) mutant cells. Conclusion: We provide evidence for enhanced COX-2 expression in CD133(+) glioma cells, and direct cell-based evidence of NF-κB-mediated COX-2 regulation by MT1-MMP. The biological significance of such checkpoint control may account for COX-2-dependent mechanisms of inflammatory balance responsible of therapy resistance phenotype of cancer stem cells. © 2009 Annabi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Annabi, B., Laflamme, C., Sina, A., Lachambre, M. P., & Béliveau, R. (2009). A MT1-MMP/NF-κB signaling axis as a checkpoint controller of COX-2 expression in CD133(+) U87 glioblastoma cells. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-2094-6-8