Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and -9) play an important role in the tumor metastasis through cleavage of proinflammatory cytokines. Violacein a small molecule produced by Chromobacterium violaceum and has been implicated with anti-cancer effects. In this study we investigated the molecular basis of violacein mediated downregulation of CXCL12/CXCR4, chemokine–receptor ligand interaction. Zymography analysis demonstrated that violacein significantly inhibited the cytokine (TNFα and TGFβ) mediated MMP-2 activation in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. MMP-2 plays a critical role in the secretion of inflammatory chemokine, CXCL12, involved in cell migration and cancer metastasis. ELISA analysis demonstrated that violacein inhibited the secretion of CXCL12 from the activated MCF-7 cells. Further, we show that MMP-2/-9 act synergistically at two distinct steps towards the membrane expression of the tumor metastasis chemokine receptor, CXCR4. Violacein efficiently downregulated the CXCR4 membrane expression through MMP-9 inhibition. Taken together, these studies demonstrate a unique anti-tumor mechanism of action of violacein through reduction of CXCL12/CXCR4 interaction. These studies could offer a novel venue for violacein in cancer therapy.
D. Platt, S. Amara, T. Mehta, K. Vercuyssee, E.L. Myles, T. Johnson, V. Tiriveedhi, "Violacein inhibits matrix metalloproteinase mediated CXCR4 expression: Potential anti-tumor effect in cancer invasion and metastasis", Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Volume 455, Issues 1–2, 2014, Pages 107-112, ISSN 0006-291X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.124.