Enhanced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by hepatitis B virus infection in liver cells

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Enhanced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by hepatitis B virus infection in liver cells
T W Chung; S K Moon; Y C Lee; J G Kim; Jeong Heon Ko; C H Kim
Bibliographic Citation
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, vol. 408, no. 2, pp. 147-154
Publication Year
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of human liver disease, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The prognosis for HCC is largely dependent on the clinicopathological characteristics regarding invasion and metastasis. Enhanced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression has been implicated as playing an important role in metastasis and invasion of HCC. However, the relationship between HBV infection and MMP-9 expression in HCC is currently poorly understood. We report here on a study of the levels of MMP-9 and MMP-2 expression in human fetal liver tissue, rat liver tissue, and Chang, HepG2, and Hep3B cells by gelatin zymography. Among these sources, Hep3B cells, which contain the integrated hepatitis B viral genome, continuously secrete the hepatitis B viral surface antigen, and express HBV genomic RNA, expressed high levels of proMMP-9, and a small amount of active MMP-9 was detected in Hep3B cells as assayed by zymography. We investigated the issue of whether HBV infection affects MMP-9 expression, which is known to play an important role in HCC invasion and metastasis. As a first step, human fetal hepatocyte (HFH) and HepG2 (HCC origin, HBV not detected) cells were subjected to infection with HBV, and the resulting infected cells successfully established are hereafter referred to as HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV. The expression of MMP-9 was upregulated by the infected HBV in HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV cells, as assayed by zymography, Northern blot, and Western blot analysis, and small amounts of active MMP-9 were detected in HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV cells as assayed by zymography. The activation of the immature proMMP-9 to the mature MMP-9 could be induced by plasmin treatment. The activation of proMMP-9 was increased to a greater extent with plasmin treatment than without plasmin in HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV cells but the addition of recombinant TIMP-1 inhibited the activation of proMMP-9. Finally, the addition of plasmin to the invasion assay using Matrigel resulted in an increase in invasiveness of HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV cells, as well as MMP-9 activation, but the treatment with TIMP-1 inhibited the invasiveness of HFH-T2 and HepG2-HBV cells as well as MMP-9 activation. We conclude from these findings that HBV infection of hepatocytes and HepG2 cells affected the upregulation of MMP-9 expression and MMP-9 activation and, thus, increased the invasion potential by plasmin. To our knowledge, this is a first report showing that an HBV infection is linked to the upregulation of MMP-9 in HCC.
Hepatitis B virusHepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)Human fetal hepatocyteInvasionZymographyMatrix metalloproteinase-9
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Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering Research Institute > Genome Editing Research Center > 1. Journal Articles
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