The p85α subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) acts as a key regulator of cell proliferation and motility, which mediates signals that confer chemoresistance to many human cancer cells. Using small interfering RNAs against matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and the MMP-2 promoter-driven luciferase assay, we showed that the new synthetic bichalcone analog TSWU-CD4 inhibits the invasion of human cancer cells by down-regulating MMP-2 expression. Treatment with TSWU-CD4 inhibited MMP-2 expression and cell invasion, which were restored by ectopic wild type (wt) p85α or a constitutively active form of MAPK kinase 3 (CA MKK3), CA MKK6, or CA p38α mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). The attenuated formation of lipid raft-associated phospho (p)-p85α–GTP-Rac1 complexes, protein kinase B (Akt) Ser 473 phosphorylation, and cell invasion by TSWU-CD4 was reversed by overexpression of wt p85α or the p85α Brc-homology (BH) domain. The ectopic expression of CA Rac1L61 (but not wt Rac1) could overcome the suppression of Ser 473 phosphorylation, lipid raft association of Akt, the interaction between GTP-bound Rac1 and p85α in lipid rafts, and cell invasion by TSWU-CD4. The involvement of Akt activity in the functions of NF-κB-mediated MMP-2 was further confirmed through the attenuation of Akt phosphorylation signaling using the Akt-specific inhibitor MK-2206 and ectopic expression of NF-κB p65. Collectively, the inhibitory effect of TSWU-CD4 on cancer cell invasion was likely to suppress the p-p85α–GTP-Rac1 interaction in lipid rafts by targeting the p85α BH domain, which resulted in the suppression of MMP-2 expression via the PI3K–Akt-mediated ERK–MKK3/MKK6–p38 MAPK-NF-κB signaling pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research