Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is expressed at increased levels in stenotic, atherosclerotic human arteries. However, the biological roles of uPA in the artery wall are poorly understood. Previous studies associate uPA with both acute vasoconstriction and chronic vascular remodeling and attribute uPA-mediated vasoconstriction to the kringle—not the catalytic—domain of uPA. We used an in vivo uPA overexpression model to test the hypothesis that uPA-induced vasoconstriction is a reversible vasomotor process that can be prevented—and uPA fibrinolytic activity preserved—by: 1) removing the growth factor and kringle domains; or 2) anchoring uPA to the endothelial surface. To test this hypothesis we constructed adenoviral vectors that express: wild-type rabbit uPA (AduPA); a uPA mutant lacking the NH2-terminal growth-factor and kringle domains (AduPAdel); a mutant lacking catalytic activity (AduPAS→A), and a cell-surface anchored mutant (AdTMuPA). uPA mutants were expressed and characterized in vitro and in carotid arteries in vivo. uPAS→A had no plasminogen activator activity. Activity was similar for uPA and uPAdel, whereas AdTMuPA had only cell-associated activity. AduPAS→A arteries were not constricted. AduPA, AduPAdel, and AdTM-uPA arteries were constricted (approximately 30% smaller lumens; P ≤ 0.008 vs AdNull arteries). Papaverine reversed constriction of AduPA arteries. uPA-mediated arterial constriction is a vasomotor process that is mediated by uPA catalytic activity, not by the NH2-terminal domains. Anchoring uPA to the endothelial surface does not prevent vasoconstriction. uPA catalytic activity, generated by artery wall cells, may contribute to lumen loss in human arteries. Elimination of uPA vasoconstrictor activity requires concomitant loss of fibrinolytic activity.
Rationale: Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) regulates extracellular proteolysis in lung injury and repair. Although alveolar expression of uPA increases, procoagulant activity predominates.
Objectives: This study was designed to investigate whether uPA alters the expression of tissue factor (TF), the major initiator of the coagulation cascade, in lung epithelial cells (ECs).
Methods: Bronchial, primary airway ECs and C57B6 wild-type, uPA-deficient (uPA−/−) mice were exposed to phosphate-buffered saline, uPA, or LPS. Immunohistochemistry, protein, cellular, and molecular techniques were used to assess TF expression and activity.
Measurements and Main Results: uPA enhanced TF mRNA and protein expression, and TF-dependent coagulation in lung ECs. uPA-induced expression of TF involves both increased synthesis and enhanced stabilization of TF mRNA. uPA catalytic activity had little effect on induction of TF. By contrast, deletion of the uPA receptor binding growth factor domain from uPA markedly attenuated the induction of TF, suggesting that uPA receptor binding is sufficient for TF induction. Lung tissues of uPA-deficient mice expressed less TF protein and mRNA compared with wild-type mice. In addition, intratracheal instillation of mouse uPA increased TF mRNA and protein expression and accelerated coagulation in lung tissues. uPA−/− mice exposed to LPS failed to induce TF.
Conclusions: uPA increased TF expression and TF-dependent coagulation in the lungs of mice. We hypothesize that uPA-mediated induction of TF occurs in lung ECs to promote increased fibrin deposition in the airways during acute lung injury.
urokinase; tissue factor; lung epithelial cells; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Rationale: Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, also called efferocytosis, plays an essential role in the resolution of inflammation. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is a multifunctional protein that has been implicated in inflammatory conditions, including pneumonia and severe infection, which are often accompanied by the development of acute lung injury. However, the role of uPA in modulating efferocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils has not been defined.
Objectives: To characterize the role of uPA in regulation of efferocytosis and to delineate the underlying mechanisms involved in this process.
Methods: In vitro and in vivo phagocytosis, immunoprecipitation, and Western blotting assays.
Measurements and Main Results: The phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils by macrophages was significantly inhibited by uPA. Mutant uPA lacking the growth factor domain and catalytically inactive uPA had similar inhibitory effects on efferocytosis, as did wild-type uPA. In contrast, absence of the kringle domain abrogated the ability of uPA to diminish efferocytosis. Both the αVβ3 integrin and vitronectin seemed to be involved in the inhibition of efferocytosis by uPA. Incubation of macrophages with uPA also diminished activation of the small GTPase Rac-1, which normally occurs during ingestion of apoptotic neutrophils. Under in vivo conditions in the lungs, uPA decreased the uptake of apoptotic neutrophils by alveolar macrophages.
Conclusions: Our data demonstrate a novel role for uPA in which it is able to diminish the uptake of apoptotic neutrophils by macrophages under both in vitro and in vivo conditions.
phagocytosis; integrin αvβ3; inflammation; acute lung injury
We studied the effects of fibrinogen degradation product (FDP) fragment D on endothelial monolayer integrity and the mechanisms of fragment D-induced endothelial cell detachment from the substratum. Incubation of bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells (BPAEC) with fragment D caused concentration- and time-dependent cell detachment from the substratum. The optimal response occurred at fragment D concentrations of 2 microM and required an incubation time of 24 h. BPAEC challenged with fragment D increased the concentration and activity of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in the conditioned medium within 2 to 4 h of incubation. Fragment D also induced the release of tissue-type plasminogen activator, but to a lesser extent than uPA. Fragment D concurrently increased plasminogen activator (PA) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Increased PA activity was followed by augmentation of cell-associated plasmin activity and subsequent increase in the degradation of 125I-fibrinogen and 125I-vitronectin precoated in the subendothelial matrix. Pretreatment of BPAEC with anti-uPA antibody, and inhibitors of uPA (dansyl-GGACK) and plasmin (aprotinin) prevented approximately 60% of the fragment D-induced endothelial cell detachment. We conclude that FDP fragment D increases secretion of endothelial PAs and enhances the generation of plasmin, thereby contributing to proteolysis of extracellular matrix and endothelial cell detachment. Fragment D may be a critical mediator linking activation of fibrinolysis to vascular endothelial injury in inflammatory disorders.
Reactive airway disease is mediated by smooth muscle contraction initiated through several agonist-dependent pathways. Activation of type 1 N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDA-R1s) by plasminogen activators (PAs) has been linked to control of vascular tone, but their effect on airway smooth muscle contractility has not previously been studied to our knowledge. We observed that NMDA-R1s are expressed by human airway smooth muscle cells and constitutively inhibit the contraction of isolated rat tracheal rings in response to acetylcholine (Ach). Both tissue-type PA (tPA) and urokinase-type PA (uPA) bind to NMDA-R1 and reverse this effect, thereby enhancing Ach-induced tracheal contractility. Tracheal contractility initiated by Ach is reduced in rings isolated from tPA−/− and uPA−/− mice compared with their wild-type counterparts. The procontractile effect of uPA or tPA was mimicked and augmented by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, l-NAME. uPA and tPA further enhanced the contractility of rings denuded of epithelium, an effect that was inhibited by the NMDA-R antagonist, MK-801. Binding of PAs to NMDA-R1 and the subsequent activation of the receptor were inhibited by PA inhibitor type 1, by a PA inhibitor type 1–derived hexapeptide that recognizes the tPA and uPA docking domains, as well as by specific mutations within the docking site of tPA. These studies identify involvement of PAs and NMDA-R1 in airway contractility, and define new loci that could lead to the development of novel interventions for reactive airway disease.
tissue plasminogen activator; urokinase NMDA receptor; lungs
Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is expressed by lung epithelial cells and regulates fibrin turnover and epithelial cell viability. PMA, LPS, and TNF-alpha, as well as uPA itself, induce uPA expression in lung epithelial cells. PMA, LPS, and TNF-alpha induce uPA expression through increased synthesis as well as stabilization of uPA mRNA, while uPA increases its own expression solely through uPA mRNA stabilization. The mechanism by which lung epithelial cells regulate uPA expression at the level of mRNA stability is unclear. To elucidate this process, we sought to characterize protein-uPA mRNA interactions that regulate uPA expression. Regulation of uPA at the level of mRNA stability involves the interaction of a ~40 kDa cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling protein with a 66 nt uPA mRNA 3′UTR sequence. We purified the uPA mRNA 3′UTR binding protein and identified it as ribonucleotide reductase M2 (RRM2). We expressed recombinant RRM2 and confirmed its interaction with a specific 66 nt uPA 3′UTR sequence. Immunoprecipitation of cell lysates with anti-RRM2 antibody and RT-PCR for uPA mRNA confirmed that RRM2 binds to uPA mRNA. Treatment of Beas2B cells with uPA or LPS attenuated RRM2-endogenous uPA mRNA interactions, while overexpression of RRM2 inhibited uPA protein and mRNA expression through destabilization of uPA mRNA. LPS exposure of lung epithelial cells translocates RRM2 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in a time-dependent manner leading to stabilization of uPA mRNA. This newly recognized pathway could influence uPA expression and a broad range of uPA-dependent functions in lung epithelial cells in the context of lung inflammation and repair.
Urokinase; ribonucleotide reductase M2; Urokinase-type plasminogen activator; Acute lung injury
Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1; SERPINE1) is the major physiologic regulator of the plasmin-based pericellular proteolytic cascade, a modulator of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and a causative factor in cardiovascular disease and restenosis, particularly in the context of increased vessel transforming growth factor- β1 (TGF-β1) levels. PAI-1 limits conversion of plasminogen to plasmin (and, thereby, fibrin degradation) by inhibiting its protease targets urokinase and tissue-type plasminogen activators (uPA, tPA). PAI-1 also has signaling functions and binds to the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) to regulate LRP1-dependent cell motility that, in turn, contributes to neointima formation. PAI-1/uPA/uPA receptor/LRPI/integrin complexes are endocytosed with subsequent uPAR/LRP1/integrin redistribution to the leading edge, initiating an “adhesion-detachment-readhesion” cycle to promote cell migration. PAI-1 also interacts with LRP1 in a uPA/uPAR-independent manner triggering Jak/Stat1 pathway activation to stimulate cell motility. PAI-1 itself is a substrate for extracellular proteases and exists in a “cleaved” form which, while unable to interact with uPA and tPA, retains LRP1-binding and migratory activity. These findings suggest that there are multiple mechanisms through which inhibition of PAI-1 may promote cardiovascular health. Several studies have focused on the design, synthesis and preclinical assessment of PAI-1 antagonists including monoclonal antibodies, peptides and low molecular weight (LMW) antagonists. This review discusses the translational impact of LMW PAI-1 antagonists on cardiovascular disease addressing PAI-1-initiated signaling, PAI-1 structure, the design and characteristics of PAI-1-targeting drugs, results of in vitro and in vivo studies, and their clinical implications.
Rationale: Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) receptor (uPAR) is required for the recruitment of neutrophils in response to infection. uPA induces its own expression in lung epithelial cells, which involves its interaction with cell surface uPAR. Regulation of uPAR expression is therefore crucial for uPA-mediated signaling in infectious acute lung injury (ALI).
Objectives: To determine the role of uPA in uPAR expression during ALI caused by sepsis.
Methods: We used Western blot, Northern blot, Northwestern assay, and immunohistochemistry. Phosphate-buffered saline– and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated wild-type and uPA−/− mice were used.
Measurements and Main Results: Biological activities of uPA, including proteolysis, cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and differentiation, are dependent on its association with uPAR. Bacterial endotoxin (LPS) is a major cause of pulmonary dysfunction and infection-associated mortality. The present study shows that LPS induces uPAR expression both in vitro and in vivo, and that the mechanism involves post-transcriptional stabilization of uPAR mRNA by reciprocal interaction of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNPC) with uPAR mRNA coding region and 3′ untranslated region determinants, respectively. The process involves tyrosine phosphorylation of PGK and hnRNPC. uPA−/− mice failed to induce uPAR expression after LPS treatment. In these mice, LPS treatment failed to alter the binding of PGK and hnRNPC protein with uPAR mRNA due to lack of tyrosine phosphorylation.
Conclusions: Our study shows that induction of LPS-mediated uPAR expression is mediated through tyrosine phosphorylation of PGK and hnRNPC. This involves expression of uPA as an obligate intermediary.
LPS; urokinase-type plasminogen activator; urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor; tyrosine phosphorylation
The plasminogen/plasmin system has the potential to affect the outcome of inflammatory diseases by regulating accumulation of fibrin and other matrix proteins. In human and experimental crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN), fibrin is an important mediator of glomerular injury and renal impairment. Glomerular deposition of matrix proteins is a feature of progressive disease. To study the role of plasminogen and plasminogen activators in the development of inflammatory glomerular injury, GN was induced in mice in which the genes for these proteins had been disrupted by homologous recombination. Deficiency of plasminogen or combined deficiency of tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) was associated with severe functional and histological exacerbation of glomerular injury. Deficiency of tPA, the predominant plasminogen activator expressed in glomeruli, also exacerbated disease. uPA deficiency reduced glomerular macrophage infiltration and did not significantly exacerbate disease. uPA receptor deficiency did not effect the expression of GN. These studies demonstrate that plasminogen plays an important role in protecting the glomerulus from acute inflammatory injury and that tPA is the major protective plasminogen activator.
Binding of type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) to cell surface urokinase (uPA) promotes inactivation and internalization of adhesion receptors (e.g., urokinase receptor (uPAR), integrins) and leads to cell detachment from a variety of extracellular matrices. In this report, we begin to examine the mechanism of this process. We show that neither specific antibodies to uPA, nor active site inhibitors of uPA, can detach the cells. Thus, cell detachment is not simply the result of the binding of macromolecules to uPA and/or of the inactivation of uPA. We further demonstrate that another uPA-inhibitor, protease nexin-1 (PN-1), also stimulates cell detachment in a uPA/uPAR-dependent manner. The binding of both inhibitors to uPA leads to the specific inactivation of the matrix-engaged integrins and the subsequent detachment of these integrins from the underlying extracellular matrix (ECM). This inhibitor-mediated inactivation of integrins requires direct interaction between uPAR and those integrins since cells attached to the ECM through integrins incapable of binding uPAR, do not respond to the presence of either PAI-1 of PN-1. Although both inhibitors initiate the clearance of uPAR, only PAI-1 triggers the internalization of integrins. However, cell detachment by PAI-1 or PN-1 does not depend on the endocytosis of these integrins since cell detachment was also observed when clearance of these integrins was blocked. Thus, PAI-1 and PN-1 induce cell detachment through two slightly different mechanisms that affect integrin metabolism. These differences may be important for distinct cellular processes that require controlled changes in the subcellular localization of these receptors.
cell detachment; urokinase receptor; integrins; PAI-1; protease nexin-1; endocytosis
A specific surface receptor for urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) recognizes the amino-terminal growth factor-like sequence of uPA, a region independent from and not required for the catalytic activity of this enzyme. The properties of the uPA receptor (uPAR) and the localization and distribution of uPA in tumor cells and tissues suggest that the uPA/uPAR interaction may be important in regulating extracellular proteolysis-dependent processes (e.g., invasion, tissue destruction). Phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), an inducer of U937 cell differentiation to macrophage-like cells, elicits a time- and concentration-dependent increase in the number of uPAR molecules as shown by binding, cross-linking, and immunoprecipitation studies. The effect of PMA is blocked by cycloheximide. Overall, the data indicate that PMA increases the synthesis of uPA. PMA treatment also causes a decrease in the affinity of the uPAR for uPA, thus uncovering another way of regulating the interaction between uPA and uPAR. In addition, the PMA treatment causes a modification of migration of the cross- linked receptor in mono- and bidimensional gel electrophoresis.
Single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (pro-uPA) is bound to a specific surface receptor on ovarian cancer HOC-I cells that is incompletely saturated. Saturation of uncovered receptors by uPA polypeptides with intact amino-terminal fragment (ATF) derived from pro-uPA by limited proteolysis (human leucocyte elastase [HLE] or V8 protease) has been studied. HOC-I cells preferentially invaded reconstituted basement membranes in a time- and plasminogen-dependent manner. This process was inhibitable by preincubation with uPA polypeptides in the medium at levels which suggested that complete saturation of cell surface uPA receptors occurred. This result indicates that occupation of uPA receptors by enzymatically inactive uPA fragments or prevention of rebinding of pro-uPA synthesised by tumour cells to the receptors specifically reduces the invasion of the tumour cells through basement membranes in vitro.
Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) is an important regulator of fibrinolysis in synovial fluid. An increase of uPA activity and expression of its receptor have been reported in joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of the present study was to assess the arthritogenic capacity of uPA and the mechanisms by which this effect is mediated. uPA was injected into the knee joints of healthy mice, and morphological signs of arthritis were assessed 4 days after the injection. The prerequisite of different leukocyte populations for the development of uPA-triggered arthritis was assessed by selective cell depletion. The inflammatory capacity of uPA was assessed in vitro. Finally, levels of uPA were measured in 67 paired blood and synovial fluid samples from RA patients. The synovial fluid from RA patients displayed higher levels of uPA compared with blood samples. Morphological signs of arthritis were found in 72% of uPA-injected joints compared with in only 18% of joints injected with PBS (P < 0.05). Synovitis was characterised by infiltration of CD4-Mac-1+ mononuclear cells, by the formation of pannus and by occasional cartilage destruction. The absence of monocytes and lymphocytes diminished the frequency of synovitis (P < 0.01), indicating an arthritogenic role of both these leukocyte populations. Synthetic uPA inhibitor downregulated the incidence of uPA-triggered arthritis by 50%. uPA induced arthritis, stimulating the release of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β and tumour necrosis factor alpha. Accumulation of uPA locally in the joint cavity is a typical finding in erosive RA. uPA exerts potent arthritogenic properties and thus may be viewed as one of the essential mediators of joint inflammation.
arthritis; inflammation; urokinase plasminogen activator
To understand the hormonal regulation of the components of the plasminogen-plasmin system in human breast cancer, we examined the oestradiol (E2) regulation of plasminogen activators (PAs), namely urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and uPA receptor (uPAR), in our model system. We used stable transfectants of the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells that express either the wild-type (S30 cells) or the mutant 351asp-->tyr oestrogen receptor (ER) (BC-2 cells). Northern blot analysis showed that there was a concentration-dependent down-regulation of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 mRNAs by E2. In contrast, uPAR mRNA was not modulated by E2. The pure anti-oestrogen ICI 182,780 was able to block E2 action, indicating that the regulation of these genes is ER mediated. The E2 also inhibited the expression and secretion of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 proteins as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in cell extracts (CEs) and conditioned media (CM). Zymography of the CM confirmed the inhibitory effect of E2 on uPA activity. Thus, we now report the regulation of uPA, PAI-1 and tPA by E2 in both mRNA and protein levels in ER transfectants. The association between down-regulation of the uPA by E2 and known E2-mediated growth inhibition of these cells was also explored. Our findings indicate that down-regulation of uPA by E2 is an upstream event of inhibitory effects of E2 on growth of these cells as the addition of exogenous uPA did not block the growth inhibition by E2.
Previous reports showed that urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) converts plasminogen to plasmin which then activates matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Here, we report that uPA directly cleaved pro-MMP-9 in a time-dependent manner at both C- and N-terminus and generated two gelatinolytic bands. uPA-activated-MMP-9 efficiently degraded fibronectin and blocked by uPA inhibitor B428 and recombinant tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1). B428 inhibited basal and PMA-induced active MMP-9 in glioblastomas (GBM) U1242 cell media as well as cell invasion in vitro. A combination of MMP-9 and uPA antibodies more significantly inhibited U1242 cell invasion than uPA or MMP-9 antibody alone. Both uPA and MMP-9 were highly expressed in U1242 cell and GBM patient specimens. Furthermore, two active MMP-9 fragments with identical molecular weights to the uPA-activated MMP-9 products were detected in GBM patient specimens. These results suggest that uPA-mediated direct activation of MMP-9 may promote GBM cell invasion.
MMP-9; uPA; Activation; Cell invasion; Glioblastoma; Mass spectrum
The urokinase-type (uPA) and tissue-type (tPA) plasminogen activators regulate liver matrix remodelling through the conversion of plasminogen (Plg) to the active protease plasmin. Based on the efficient activation of plasminogen when uPA is bound to its receptor (uPAR) and on the role of uPA in plasmin-mediated liver repair, we hypothesized that uPA requires uPAR for efficient liver repair.
To test this hypothesis, we administered one dose of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) to mice with single or combined deficiencies of uPA, uPAR and tPA, and examined hepatic morphology, cellular proliferation, fibrin clearance, and hepatic proteolysis 2–14 days later.
Absence of uPAR alone or the combined absence of uPAR and tPA had no impact on the resolution of centrilobular injury, but the loss of receptor-free uPA significantly impaired the clearance of necrotic hepatocytes up to 14 days after CCl4. In response to the injury, hepatocyte proliferation was normal in mice of all genotypes, except for uPAR-deficient (uPAR°) mice, which had a reproducible but mild decrease by 33% at day 2, with an appropriate restoration of liver mass by 7 days similar to experimental controls. Immunostaining and zymographic analysis demonstrated that uPA alone promoted fibrin clearance from centrilobular regions and efficiently activated plasminogen.
uPA activates plasminogen and promotes liver matrix proteolysis during repair via a process that neither requires its receptor uPAR nor requires a contribution from its functional counterpart tPA.
The regulation of cerebrovascular permeability is critical for normal brain homeostasis, and the “breakdown” of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is associated with the development of vasogenic edema and intracranial hypertension in a number of neurological disorders. In this study we demonstrate that an increase in endogenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) activity in the perivascular tissue following cerebral ischemia induces opening of the BBB via a mechanism that is independent of both plasminogen (Plg) and MMP-9. We also show that injection of tPA into the cerebrospinal fluid in the absence of ischemia results in a rapid dose-dependent increase in vascular permeability. This activity is not seen with urokinase-type Plg activator (uPA) but is induced in Plg–/– mice, confirming that the effect is Plg-independent. However, the activity is blocked by antibodies to the LDL receptor–related protein (LRP) and by the LRP antagonist, receptor-associated protein (RAP), suggesting a receptor-mediated process. Together these studies demonstrate that tPA is both necessary and sufficient to directly increase vascular permeability in the early stages of BBB opening, and suggest that this occurs through a receptor-mediated cell signaling event and not through generalized degradation of the vascular basement membrane.
The regulation of plasmin generation on cell surfaces is of critical importance in the control of vascular homeostasis. Cell-derived microparticles participate in the dissemination of biological activities. However their capacity to promote plasmin generation has not been documented. In this study, we show that endothelial microparticles (EMP) from TNFα-stimulated endothelial cells, served as a surface for the generation of plasmin. The generation of plasmin involved expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) at the surface of EMP and was further increased by their ability to bind exogenous uPA on uPAR. Plasminogen was activated at the surface of EMP in a dose-dependent, saturable and specific manner as indicated by the inhibition of plasmin formation by ε-amino-caproic acid (ε-ACA) and carboxypeptidase B. EMP-induced plasmin generation affects tube formation mediated by endothelial progenitor cells. However, low amounts of EMP increased tube formation whereas higher concentrations inhibited it. Prevention of these effects by inhibitors of either uPA or plasmin, underscore the key role of EMP-induced plasmin generation. In conclusion, we demonstrated that EMP act as vectors supporting efficient plasmin generation and dissemination, a new pathway in the regulation of endothelial proteolytic activities with potential involvement in inflammation, angiogenesis and atherosclerosis.
Cell Line; Endothelial Cells; metabolism; Enzyme Activation; drug effects; Humans; Intracellular Membranes; metabolism; Neovascularization; Physiologic; Plasmin; metabolism; Plasminogen; metabolism; Protein Binding; Receptors; Cell Surface; metabolism; Stem Cells; metabolism; Urinary Plasminogen Activator; pharmacology; Angiogenesis; endothelial microparticles; plasminogen; plasmin; urokinase; endothelial progenitors
Macrophages (Mp) and the plasminogen system play important roles in tissue repair following injury. We hypothesized that Mp-specific expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is sufficient for Mp to migrate into damaged muscle and for efficient muscle regeneration. We generated transgenic mice expressing uPA only in Mp, and we assessed the ability of these mice to repair muscle injury. Mp-only uPA expression was sufficient to induce wild-type levels of Mp accumulation, angiogenesis, and new muscle fiber formation. In mice with wild-type uPA expression, Mp-specific overexpression further increased Mp accumulation and enhanced muscle fiber regeneration. Furthermore, Mp expression of uPA regulated the level of active hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is required for muscle fiber regeneration, in damaged muscle. In vitro studies demonstrated that uPA promotes Mp migration through proteolytic and non-proteolytic mechanisms, including proteolytic activation of HGF. In summary, Mp-derived uPA promotes muscle regeneration by inducing Mp migration, angiogenesis, and myogenesis.
We hypothesized that urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) contributes to age-dependent early hyperemia after fluid percussion brain injury (FPI) by activating extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), leading to histopathologic changes in the underlying cortex. Both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) uPA and phosphorylation of CSF ERK MAPK was increased at 1 min after FPI in newborn pigs, but was unchanged in juvenile pigs. uPA and phosphorylated ERK MAPK, detectable in sham piglet brain by immunohistochemistry, was markedly elevated and associated with histopathology 4 h after FPI in the newborn but there was minimal staining and histopathology in the juvenile. EEIIMD, a peptide derived from PA inhibitor-1 that does not affect proteolysis, blunted FPI-induced phosphorylation of ERK MAPK. FPI produced pial artery dilation and increased cerebral blood flow at 1 min after insult in the newborn, but not in the juvenile. Antilipoprotein-related protein (LRP) antibody, EEIIMD, a soluble uPA antagonist, and the ERK MAPK antagonist U 0126 inhibited FPI-associated hyperemia. These data indicate that uPA is upregulated after FPI and produces an age-dependent early hyperemia followed by histopathology through an LRP- and ERK MAPK-dependent pathway.
cerebral circulation; newborn; plasminogen activators; signal transduction
In rheumatoid arthritis, synovial expression of urokinase (uPA) activity is greatly increased (Busso, N., V. Péclat, A. So, and A. -P. Sappino. 1997. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 56:550- 557). We report the same effect in murine antigen-induced arthritis. uPA-mediated plasminogen activation in arthritic joints may have deleterious effects via degradation of cartilage and bone matrix proteins as well as beneficial effects via fibrin degradation. We evaluated these contrasting effects in vivo by analyzing the phenotype of uPA-deficient (uPA-/-) and control mice during antigen-induced arthritis. Joint inflammation was comparable in both groups up to day 3 and subsequently declined in control mice, remaining significantly elevated in uPA-/- mice on days 10 and 30 after arthritis onset. Likewise, synovial thickness was markedly increased in uPA-deficient mice persisting for up to 2 mo, whereas it subsided in control animals. Bone erosion was exacerbated in uPA-/- mice on day 30. By contrast, no difference in articular cartilage proteoglycan content was found between both groups. Significantly increased accumulation of fibrin was observed by day 30 in arthritic joints of uPA-/- mice. We hypothesized that synovial fibrin deposition plays a role in joint inflammation. Accordingly, defibrinogenation of uPA-/- mice by ancrod significantly decreased the sustained joint inflammation. All the above observations were reproducible in plasminogen-deficient (Pln-/-) mice. In conclusion, synovial fibrin deposition plays a role as a nonimmunological mechanism which sustains chronic arthritis.
Urokinase (uPA) is hypothesized to provide proteolytic activity enabling inflammatory cells to traverse tissues during recruitment, and it is implicated as a cytokine modulator. Definitive evaluation of these hypotheses in vivo has previously been impossible because uPA could not completely and irreversibly be eliminated. This limitation has been overcome through the development of uPA-deficient transgenic mice (uPA-/-). Using these mice, we evaluated the importance of uPA in the pulmonary inflammatory response to Cryptococcus neoformans (strain 52D). C. neoformans was inoculated into uPA-/- and control mice (uPA+/+), and cell recruitment to the lungs was quantitated. The number of CFU in lung, spleen and brain was determined to assess clearance, and survival curves were generated. By day 21 after inoculation, uPA-/- mice had markedly fewer pulmonary inflammatory (CD45+), CD4+, and CD11b/CD18+ cells compared with uPA+/+ controls (P<0.0007); pulmonary CFUs in the uPA-/- mice continued to increase, whereas CFUs diminished in uPA+/+ mice(P<0.005). In survival studies, only 3/19 uPA+/+ mice died, whereas 15/19 uPA-/- mice died (p<0.001). We have demonstrated that uPA is required for a pulmonary inflammatory response to C. neoformans. Lack of uPA results in inadequate cellular recruitment, uncontrolled infection, and death.
Disorders of hemostasis lead to vascular pathology. Endothelium-derived gene products play a critical role in the formation and degradation of fibrin. We sought to characterize the importance of these locally produced factors in the formation of fibrin in the cardiac macrovasculature and microvasculature. This study used mice with modifications of the thrombomodulin (TM) gene, the tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) gene, and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) gene. The results revealed that tPA played the most important role in local regulation of fibrin deposition in the heart, with lesser contributions by TM and uPA (least significant). Moreover, a synergistic relationship in fibrin formation existed in mice with concomitant modifications of tPA and TM, resulting in myocardial necrosis and depressed cardiac function. The data were fit to a statistical model that may offer a foundation for examination of hemostasis-regulating gene interactions.
Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) activates the mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and 2, in diverse cell types. In this study, we demonstrate that uPA stimulates migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells, HT 1080 fibrosarcoma cells, and uPAR-overexpressing MCF-7 cells by a mechanism that depends on uPA receptor (uPAR)-ligation and ERK activation. Ras and MAP kinase kinase (MEK) were necessary and sufficient for uPA-induced ERK activation and stimulation of cellular migration, as demonstrated in experiments with dominant-negative and constitutively active mutants of these signaling proteins. Myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) was also required for uPA-stimulated cellular migration, as determined in experiments with three separate MLCK inhibitors. When MCF-7 cells were treated with uPA, MLCK was phosphorylated by a MEK-dependent pathway and apparently activated, since serine-phosphorylation of myosin II regulatory light chain (RLC) was also increased. Despite the transient nature of ERK phosphorylation, MLCK remained phosphorylated for at least 6 h. The uPA-induced increase in MCF-7 cell migration was observed selectively on vitronectin-coated surfaces and was mediated by a β1-integrin (probably αVβ1) and αVβ5. When MCF-7 cells were transfected to express αVβ3 and treated with uPA, ERK was still phosphorylated; however, the cells did not demonstrate increased migration. Neutralizing the function of αVβ3, with blocking antibody, restored the ability of uPA to promote cellular migration. Thus, we have demonstrated that uPA promotes cellular migration, in an integrin-selective manner, by initiating a uPAR-dependent signaling cascade in which Ras, MEK, ERK, and MLCK serve as essential downstream effectors.
urokinase-type plasminogen activator; myosin light chain kinase; integrins; vitronectin; cellular migration
It is not known if urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is associated with normal colonic epithelial cells. The aims of this study were to determine if normal colonic epithelial cells have uPA activity and whether this is concentrated at the cell membrane. In addition, the contribution of colonic epithelial cell associated uPA activity to disease related pertubations of mucosal uPA activity were examined. A highly enriched population of colonic epithelial cells was isolated from resected colon or biopsy specimens by an enzymatic technique. uPA activity was measured in cell homogenates by a specific and sensitive colorimetric method and expressed relative to cellular DNA. In two experiments subcellular fractionation of colonic epithelial cells was performed by nitrogen cavitation followed by ultracentrifugation over a linear sucrose gradient. The fractions collected were analysed for uPA and organelle-specific enzyme activities. Normal colonic epithelial cells have cell associated uPA activity (mean (SEM) 5.6 (1.1) IU/mg, n = 18). This colocalised with fractions enriched for leucine-beta-naphthylamidase and 5'-nucleotidase, markers of plasma membrane. uPA activities in epithelial cells from cancerous colons (9.8 (3.1) n = 7) or from mucosa affected by inflammatory bowel disease (3.8 (0.7) n = 15) were not significantly different from normal (paired t test), while that in epithelial cells from greatly inflamed mucosa was similar to that from autologous normal or mildly inflamed areas (4.4 (1.2) v 5.9 (3.6), n = 9). Thus normal colonic epithelial cells have cell associated uPA activity which is concentrated on the plasma membranes, suggesting the presence of uPA receptors. Increased mucosal levels of uPA previously reported in patients with inflammatory bowel disease are not due to increased colonic epithelial cell associated uPA.