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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Bmi-1 promotes the aggressiveness of glioma via activating the NF-kappaB/MMP-9 signaling pathway

Lili Jiang1, Jueheng Wu23, Yi Yang34, Liping Liu5, Libing Song5, Jun Li36 and Mengfeng Li237*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathophysiology, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510182 China

2 Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

3 Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control (Sun Yat-sen University), Chinese Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

4 Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

5 Department of Experimental Research, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, China

6 Department of Biochemistry, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

7 Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, 74 Zhongshan Road II, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2012, 12:406  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-406

Published: 11 September 2012

Abstract

Background

The prognosis of human glioma is poor, and the highly invasive nature of the disease represents a major impediment to current therapeutic modalities. The oncoprotein B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 protein (Bmi-1) has been linked to the development and progression of glioma; however, the biological role of Bmi-1 in the invasion of glioma remains unclear.

Methods

A172 and LN229 glioma cells were engineered to overexpress Bmi-1 via stable transfection or to be silenced for Bmi-1 expression using RNA interfering method. Migration and invasiveness of the engineered cells were assessed using wound healing assay, Transwell migration assay, Transwell matrix penetration assay and 3-D spheroid invasion assay. MMP-9 expression and activity were measured using real-time PCR, ELISA and the gelatin zymography methods. Expression of NF-kappaB target genes was quantified using real-time PCR. NF-kappaB transcriptional activity was assessed using an NF-kappaB luciferase reporter system. Expression of Bmi-1 and MMP-9 in clinical specimens was analyzed using immunohistochemical assay.

Results

Ectopic overexpression of Bmi-1 dramatically increased, whereas knockdown of endogenous Bmi-1 reduced, the invasiveness and migration of glioma cells. NF-kappaB transcriptional activity and MMP-9 expression and activity were significantly increased in Bmi-1-overexpressing but reduced in Bmi-1-silenced cells. The reporter luciferase activity driven by MMP-9 promoter in Bmi-1-overexpressing cells was dependent on the presence of a functional NF-kappaB binding site, and blockade of NF-kappaB signaling inhibited the upregulation of MMP-9 in Bmi-1 overexpressing cells. Furthermore, expression of Bmi-1 correlated with NF-kappaB nuclear translocation as well as MMP-9 expression in clinical glioma samples.

Conclusions

Bmi-1 may play an important role in the development of aggressive phenotype of glioma via activating the NF-kappaB/MMP-9 pathway and therefore might represent a novel therapeutic target for glioma.

Keywords:
Bmi-1; Glioma; Invasion; MMP-9; NF-kappaB