Current Issue

Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2018, Serial Number: 78 Pages: 211-219

The Protein Extract of Chlorella minutissima Inhibits The Expression of MMP-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9 in Cancer Cells through Upregulation of TIMP-3 and Down Regulation of c-Jun

Mugdha Kunte, M.Sc, 1, Krutika Desai, Ph.D, 2, *,
Department of Biological Sciences, NMIMS University, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai, India
Department of Microbiology, Mithibai College, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai, India
*Corresponding Address: Department of Microbiology Mithibai College Vile Parle (W) Mumbai 400056 India



Considering the bioactivities exhibited by microalgae, the effect of protein extract of Chlorella minutissimma (CP extract) was investigated on the expression of human matrix metalloproteinases-1 (MMP-1) in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231, and that of MMP-2 and -9 in hepatocellular cancer cell line HepG2 at different expression levels. The study aimed identification and analysis of inhibitory activity of microalgal components extracted from Chlorella minutissima against human MMPs.

Materials and Methods

In this experimental study, we analysed the effect of Chlorella extracts on MMP-1, -2, and -9 expression at various levels. Gelatin zymography was performed to study the inhibitory effect of Chlorella exracts on human gelatinases at the activity level, followed by western blotting to analyse the expression of all three MMPs at the protein level. The similar effect at the mRNA level along with the probable mechanism underlying inhibition of MMPs was assessed using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


The results reveal that the treatment with CP extract decreased the mRNA expression of MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 by 0.26-, 0.29-, and 0.40-fold, respectively, at 20 μg/ml concentration as well as inhibited the activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by 37.56 and 42.64%, respectively, at 15 μg/ml concentration. Additionally, upregulated mRNA expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) by 1.68-fold was seen in HepG2 cells at 20 μg/ml concentration treatment group. However, CP extract did not induce any change in the mRNA expression of the TIMP-1, -2 and -4 in HepG2 and TIMP-1, -2, -3 and -4 in MDA-MB231 cells. Activator protein-1 (AP-1)-dependent c-Jun-mediated transcriptional regulation of MMP-1, -2, and -9 was also studied to elucidate the appropriate mechanism involved in the inhibition of MMPs.


The CP extract successfully inhibited MMP-1, -2, and -9 at different expression levels through TIMP-3 upregulation and c-Jun downregulation.