In the presence of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) stimulation, an increase in the migration/invasion of U87 glioblastoma cells was detected by a wound healing assay, transwell analysis, and spheroid formation assay by inducing matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) enzyme activity via a gelatin zymographic analysis. A dose- and time-dependent increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) gene expression with elevated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was identified in TPA- but not in 4α-TPA (a respective inactive compound)-treated U87 cells TPA-induced migration/invasion was significantly blocked by adding the COX-2-specific inhibitor, NS398, through a reduction in PGE2 production. Data from the pharmacological studies using specific chemical inhibitors showed that activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) was involved in TPA-induced migration/invasion, COX-2 protein expression, and MMP-9 activation. Stimulation of intracellular peroxide production by TPA was detected by a DCHF-DA assay, and the addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD) or tempol significantly inhibited TPA-induced migration/invasion and COX-2 protein expression accompanied by a decrease in peroxide production. An increase in NADPH oxidase activity by TPA was examined, and TPA-induced migration/invasion was blocked by adding DPI, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor. Additionally, the natural flavonoids quercetin (QE), baicalein (BE), and myricetin (ME) effectively blocked TPA-induced migration/invasion while simultaneously inhibiting COX-2/PGE2 production, MMP-9 enzyme activity, and peroxide production in U87 cells. The contribution of ROS production to the migration/invasion of U87 glioblastoma cells via ERK-activated COX-2/PGE2 and MMP-9 induction was first investigated here, and agents such as QE, BE, and ME with the ability to block these events possess the potential to be developed for use against migration/invasion by glioblastomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • COX-2
  • ERKs
  • MMP-9
  • Migration/invasion
  • ROS
  • TPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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