Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Hsin-Hsiung Tai


Thromboxane A2 receptor (TP) has been shown to play important roles in multiple aspects of cancer development including regulation of tumor growth, survival and metastasis. Molecular mechanisms of TP mediated cancer cell invasion remain to be identified. TP agonist, I-BOP, significantly elevated several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) including MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-9 and MMP-10 in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells overexpressing TPα (A549-TPα) or TPβ (A549-TPβ). Signaling pathways of I-BOP-induced MMP-1 expression were examined in further detail as a model system for MMPs induction. Signaling molecules involved in I-BOP-induced MMP-1 expression were identified by using specific inhibitors including small interfering (si)-RNAs of signaling molecules and promoter reporter assay. The results indicate that I-BOP-induced MMP-1 expression is mediated by protein kinase C (PKC), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-activator protein-1(AP-1) and ERK-CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) pathways. I-BOP-induced cellular invasiveness of A549-TPα cells was blocked by, GM6001, a general inhibitor of MMPs. Knockdown of MMP-1 and MMP-9 by their respective siRNA partially reduced I-BOP-stimulated A549-TPα cells invasion suggesting that other MMPs induced by I-BOP were also involved.

Furthermore, secreted MMP-1 in conditioned media from I-BOP-treated A549-TPα cells (CM-I-BOP) autocrinely induced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression. The induction of MCP-1 by MMP-1 in A549 cells was via activation of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) instead of commonly assumed PAR1. This conclusion was reached from the following findings: (1) expression of MCP-1 induced by trypsin, a PAR2 agonist, was inhibited by a PAR2 antagonist. (2) expression of MCP-1 induced by MMP-1 and by CM-I-BOP was blocked by a PAR2 antagonist but not by other PAR antagonists; (3) expression of MCP-1 induced by MMP-1 and by CM-I-BOP was attenuated significantly by pretreatment of cells with PAR2-siRNA.

Finally, MCP-1 also can be induced by direct activation of TP in a SP1 involved mechanism. CM-I-BOP enhanced MCP-1-dependent migration of RAW 264.7 macrophages. Co-culture of A549 cells with RAW 264.7 macrophages induced expression of MMPs, VEGF and MCP-1 genes, and increased the invasive potential in A549 cells.

My studies provide molecular mechanisms by which TP-mediated cancer cell invasion and suggest that TP is a potential anti-cancer drug target.