Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 inhibits activation of the β-catenin signaling in melanoma cells

Yuxuan Xia, Shaoping Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) family, including TIMP-2, regulates the activity of multifunctional metalloproteinases in pathogenesis of melanoma. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is constitutively activated and plays a critical role in melanoma progression. However, the relationship between TIMP-2 expression and β-catenin activity is still unclear. We hypothesize that TIMP-2 over expression inhibits the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in melanoma cells. Protein expression, distribution, and transcriptional activity of β-catenin were assayed in established stable melanoma cell lines: parental A2058 expressing, A2058 T2-1 over-expressing (T2-1), and A2058 T2R-7 under-expressing (T2R-7) TIMP-2. Compared to T2-1 cells at the basal level, T2R-7 showed significantly lower amount protein and weaker immunofluorescence staining of β-catenin. This regulation is through posttranslational level via ubiquitination. Functionally, proliferation and cell growth were lower in T2R-7 compared to A2058 and T2-1. Lithium treatment was used to mimics activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In T2R-7 cells under-expressing TIMP2, lithium significantly increased total β-catenin, nuclear β-catenin, and its downstream protein phosphor-c-Myc (S62). Nuclear β-catenin staining was enhanced in T2R-7. Beta-catenin transcriptional activity and cell proliferation were also increased significantly. Axins inhibit β-catenin pathway via GSK-3 β. We further found the ratio of p-GSK-3 β (S9) to β-catenin and protein levels of Axins were significantly lower, whereas downstream Wnt 11 was high in T2R-7 treated with lithium. Collectively, the high level of TIMP-2 protein inhibits the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, thus suppressing proliferation. Insights in the molecular mechanisms of TIMP-2 may provide promising opportunities for anti-proliferative therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1666-1674
Number of pages9
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Axin1
  • Axin2
  • Lithium
  • Melanoma
  • TIMP-2
  • Wnt
  • β-catenin

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