Modulation of matrix metalloproteinase activity in human thyroid cancer cell lines using demethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors

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Background.The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of treating human thyroid cancer cell lines with demethylating agents and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to see if they would downregulate expression and activity of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, resulting in inhibition of growth and invasion.Methods.A total of 1 papillary cancer cell line (TPC-1) and 3 follicular thyroid cancer cell lines (FTC-133, FTC-236, and FTC-238) were treated with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (5-AZC) and the HDAC inhibitors trichostatin A (TSA) and valproic acid (VA). The activity of MMP proteins was determined using gelatin zymography, and commercially available assays were used to quantify growth inhibition and thyroid cancer cell invasion.Results.Treatment with TSA and VA resulted in decreased protein activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in all cell lines in a dose-dependent manner after 48 hours of treatment compared with untreated controls. In addition, 5-, TSA, and VA caused inhibition of growth in the range of 25–80% for all cell lines at 24, 48, and 72 hours. VA and TSA significantly decreased cell invasion in the FTC-133 and TPC-1 cell lines.Conclusion.The HDAC inhibitors TSA and VA decreased the protein activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and, in combination with the demethylating agent 5-AZC, inhibited cellular growth in human papillary and follicular thyroid cancer cell lines. These results elucidate our understanding of the pathways affected by the demethylating agents and HDAC inhibitors, and provide further evidence that MMPs are a potentially useful target for molecular therapies in patients with aggressive or refractory thyroid cancers.

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