Src tyrosine kinase activates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and, in turn, nitric oxide (NO) production as a means to transduce cell migration. Src tyrosine kinase plays a key proximal role to control α9β1 signaling. Our recent studies have clearly demonstrated the role of α9β1 integrin in matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and/or urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR)-mediated glioma cell migration. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the involvement of α9β1 integrin-iNOS pathway in MMP-9- and/or uPAR-mediated glioma cell migration. Immunohistochemical analysis of the glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tissue array revealed the prominent presence of iNOS in several clinical GBM samples. In addition, immunofluorescence analysis of U251 glioma cell lines and 5310 glioma xenograft cells showed a prominent expression of iNOS. Transcriptional inactivation of MMP-9 and/or uPAR by respective shRNA reduced iNOS expression in both U521 and 5310 glioma cells. RT-PCR analysis revealed elevated iNOS mRNA expression in these glioma cells after transfection with MMP-9- or uPAR-overexpressing plasmids. Wound healing and spheroid migration assays showed a significant inhibition of the migration potential of MMP-9- or uPAR-overexpressed U251 glioma cells after treatment with L-NAME, an inhibitor of iNOS. Similarly, Matrigel invasion assay revealed a significant inhibition of the invasion potential of the control or MMP-9/uPAR-overexpressed U251 and 5310 glioma cells after L-NAME treatment. Further, we noticed a prominent reduction of iNOS expression in the tumor regions of nude mice brains, which were injected with 5310 glioma cells, after MMP-9 and/or uPAR knockdown. Integrin α9β1 regulates iNOS activity via Src tyrosine kinase; Src coordinates subsequent signaling pathways through activation of FAK and tyrosine phosphorylation of the adaptor protein p130Cas. Western blot analysis of MMP-9 and/or uPAR shRNA treated U251 and 5310 glioma cells revealed significant reductions in the protein expression of cSrc, phosphoSrc, FAK and p130Cas after simultaneous downregulation of both MMP-9 and uPAR. Taken together, our results from the present and earlier studies clearly demonstrate that α9β1 integrin-mediated cell migration utilizes the iNOS pathway, and inhibition of the migratory potential of these glioma cells by simultaneous knockdown of MMP-9 and uPAR could be attributed to the reduced α9β1 integrin and iNOS levels. Therefore, our results highlight the possible involvement of α9β1 integrin-iNOS pathway in MMP-9- and/or uPAR-mediated glioma cell migration.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 461. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-461