Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) possesses both extracellular proteolytic and intracellular signal-transducing functions in tumorigenesis. An imbalance in MT1-MMP expression and/or function triggers a metastatic, invasive, and therapy resistance phenotype. MT1-MMP is involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) proteolysis, activation of latent MMPs, as well as in autophagy signaling in human hepatoma and glioblastoma cells. A low autophagy index in tumorigenesis has been inferred by recent studies where autophagic capacity was decreased during tumor progression. Here, we establish ARP101 as a dual-function small-molecule inhibitor against MT1-MMP ECM hydrolysis and autophagy signal-transducing functions in a model of grade IV glioblastoma cells. ARP101 inhibited concanavalin-A-mediated proMMP-2 activation into MMP-2, as well as MT1-MMP auto-proteolytic processing. When overexpressing recombinant Wt MT1-MMP, ARP101 inhibited proMMP-2 activation and triggered the formation of MT1-MMP oligomers that required trafficking to the plasma membrane. ARP101 further induced cell autophagy as reflected by increased formation of acidic vacuole organelles, LC3 puncta, and autophagy-related protein ATG9 transcription. These were all significantly reversed upon siRNA-mediated gene silencing of MT1-MMP. ARP101 can thus concomitantly inhibit MT1-MMP extracellular catalytic function and exploit its intracellular transducing signal function to trigger autophagy-mediated cell death in U87 glioblastoma cancer cells.
Keywords: ARP101; MT1-MMP processing; autophagy; concanavalin-A; glioblastoma.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S.