The ACE Inhibitor Lisinopril Stimulates Melanoma Cell Invasiveness by Inducing MMP2 Secretion


Hypertension is treated primarily with angiotensin II (ATII) receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (ACEIs). Both ATII and ACEIs can trigger signal transduction via ACE, and a possible correlation between ARB/ACEI therapy and an increased risk of cancer is highly controversial. The question of whether or not ACE as a potential signal transducer affects human melanoma (MV3) cell behavior prompted the present study.


Expression of ACE, ATII receptor types 1, 2 (AT1R, AT2R), COX2 and MMP2 in MV3 cells was examined by qPCR. AT1R, AT2R and ACE were inhibited with losartan, EMA401 and lisinopril, respectively. Adhesion, migration and invasiveness of MV3 cells seeded on a hepatocyte (Huh7) monolayer or a reconstituted collagen type I matrix were analyzed using video microscopy and Boyden chambers. Integrity of the Huh7 cell layer was confirmed by measuring transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). ERK1/2 phosphorylation and MMP2 secretion were evaluated by Western blotting. MMP2 activity was inhibited with ARP-100.


Losartan, EMA401 and lisinopril stimulated MV3 melanoma cell migration and invasion in a coculture model with Huh7 cells while leaving proliferation and adhesion largely unaffected. The drugs did not interfere with TEER of the hepatocyte monolayer nor with MV3 cell proliferation, but tended to increase the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and the expression of both COX2 and MMP2. Lisinopril caused a significant increase in MV3 cells' MMP2 secretion and an accelerated MV3 cell-mediated TEER breakdown. The MMP2 inhibitor ARP-100 could antagonize the lisinopril-stimulated invasion of the hepatocyte layer.


Lisinopril stimulates MV3 cell invasion by increasing the expression and secretion of MMP2.


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