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Cadmium induces matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression via ROS-dependent EGFR, NF-кB, and AP-1 pathways in human endothelial cells.

Lian S., Xia Y., Khoi P.N., Ung T.T., Yoon H.J., Kim N.H., Kim K.K., Jung Y.D.

Cadmium (Cd), a widespread cumulative pollutant, is a known human carcinogen, associated with inflammation and tumors. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a pivotal role in tumor metastasis; however, the mechanisms underlying the MMP-9 expression induced by Cd remain obscure in human endothelial cells. Here, Cd elevated MMP-9 expression in dose- and time-dependent manners in human endothelial cells. Cd increased ROS production and the ROS-producing NADPH oxidase. Cd translocates p47(phox), a key subunit of NADPH oxidase, to the cell membrane. Cd also activated the phosphorylation of EGFR, Akt, Erk1/2, and JNK1/2 in addition to promoting NF-кB and AP-1 binding activities. Specific inhibitor and mutagenesis studies showed that EGFR, Akt, Erk1/2, JNK1/2 and transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 were related to Cd-induced MMP-9 expression in endothelial cells. Akt, Erk1/2, and JNK1/2 functioned as upstream signals in the activation of NF-κB and AP-1, respectively. In addition, N-acetyl-l-cystein (NAC), diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) and apocynin (APO) inhibited the Cd-induced activation of EGFR, Akt, Erk1/2, JNK1/2, and p38 MAPK, indicating that ROS production by NADPH oxidase is the furthest upstream signal in MMP-9 expression. At present, it states that Cd displayed marked invasiveness in ECV304 cells, which was partially abrogated by MMP-9 neutralizing antibodies. These results demonstrated that Cd induces MMP-9 expression via ROS-dependent EGFR->Erk1/2, JNK1/2->AP-1 and EGFR->Akt->NF-κB signaling pathways and, in turn, stimulates invasiveness in human endothelial cells.

Toxicology 338:104-116(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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