Inhibitive effect of triptolide on invasiveness of human fibrosarcoma cells by downregulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Jun;4(6):482-5. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60131-4.


Objective: To explore the molecular mechanisms of antitumor properties of triptolide, a bioactive component isolated from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wolfordii Hook F.

Methods: Human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells were treated with different doses of triptolide for 72 h. Then the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 were measured and the invasiveness of triptolide-treated HT-1080 cells was compared with that of anti-MMP-9-treated HT-1080 cells.

Results: 18 nmol/L triptolide inhibited the gene expression and activity of MMP-9, but not those of MMP-2, in HT-1080 cells. In addition, both 18 nmol/L triptolide and 3 μg/mL anti-MMP-9 significantly reduced the invasive potential of HT-1080 cells, by about 50% and 35%, respectively, compared with the control. Whereas there was no significant difference between the effect of 18 nmol/L triptolide and that of anti-MMP-9 on invasive potential of HT-1080 cells.

Conclusions: These data suggest that triptolide inhibits tumor cell invasion partly by reducing MMP-9 gene expression and activity.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epoxy Compounds / pharmacology
  • Fibrosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Fibrosarcoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Diterpenes
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Phenanthrenes
  • triptolide
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9