Curcumin suppresses phorbol ester-induced matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression by inhibiting the PKC to MAPK signaling pathways in human astroglioma cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Oct 7;335(4):1017-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.07.174.


The aberrant expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is implicated in the invasion and angiogenesis process of brain tumor. This study has investigated the effects of curcumin on MMP-9 expression in human astroglioma cell lines. Curcumin significantly inhibited the MMP-9 enzymatic activity and protein expression that was induced by PMA. The inhibitory effect of curcumin on MMP-9 expression correlates with the decreased MMP-9 mRNA level and the suppression of MMP-9 promoter activity. The curcumin-mediated inhibition of MMP-9 gene expression appears to occur via NF-kappaB and AP-1 because their DNA binding activities were suppressed by curcumin. Furthermore, curcumin strongly repressed the PMA-induced phosphorylation of ERK, JNK, and p38 MAP kinase, which were dependent on the PKC pathway. Therefore, the inhibition of MMP-9 expression by curcumin might have therapeutic potential for controlling the growth and invasiveness of brain tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Astrocytoma / enzymology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phorbol Esters / administration & dosage*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Phorbol Esters
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Curcumin