SIP-SII is the sulfated S. maindroni ink polysaccharide (SIP) isolated from cuttlefish Sepiella maindroni. SIP-SII weakly inhibited tumor cell growth without cytotoxicity in vitro assay. Herein, we examined the effects of SIP-SII on the expression of matrix metalloproteinase MMP-2 and MMP-9 as well as tumor cell invasion and migration. SIP-SII (0.8-500 mu g/ml) significantly decreased the expression of MMP-2 activity in human ovarian carcinoma cells SKOV3 as evidenced by the gelatin zymography analysis. No significant decrease of MMP-9 was detected in the cell line after SIP-SII treatment. The expression of MMP-2 was also evaluated using Western blot analysis. The results showed that SIP-SII inhibited the expression of MMP-2 in SKOV3 and human umbilical vein vascular endothelial cells ECV304 after 24 h incubation. Furthermore, the activity of invasion and migration of SKOV3 and ECV304 cells were measured. SIP-SII displayed an inhibitory effect on the penetration of SKOV3 cells through Matrigel-coated membrane in transwell chamber. A significant inhibition of ECV304 cell migration was observed in the presence of SIP-SIT. These results suggest that SIP-SII might suppress invasion and migration of carcinoma cells via inhibition of MMP-2 proteolytic activity. (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.