Piperine is a major component of black pepper, Piper nigrum Linn, used widely in traditional medicine. Several previous studies reported that piperine possesses various beneficial biological activities including antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-inflammation properties. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of piperine on tumor invasion and migration and the possible mechanisms involved using human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells. We found that piperine suppresses PMA-enhanced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression at the protein, mRNA, and transcriptional levels through the suppression of NF-κB and AP-1 activation without changing the level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1. Piperine also inhibits PMA-enhanced membrane-type 1 MMP expression without changing the level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2. Piperine inhibited PMA-induced NF-κB and c-Jun nuclear translocation, which are upstream of PMA-induced MMP-9 expression and invasion. Furthermore, piperine strongly repressed the PMA-induced phosphorylation of ERK, which are dependent on the PKCα pathway. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the anti-invasive effects of piperine may occur through inhibition of PKCα and ERK phosphorylation and reduction of NF-κB and AP-1 activation, leading to down-regulation of MMP-9 expression. Thus, piperine has potential as a potent anti-cancer drug in therapeutic strategies for fibrosarcoma metastasis.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.