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1.  Natural Endogenous Human Matriptase and Prostasin Undergo Zymogen Activation via Independent Mechanisms in an Uncoupled Manner 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167894.
The membrane-associated serine proteases matriptase and prostasin are believed to function in close partnership. Their zymogen activation has been reported to be tightly coupled, either as a matriptase-initiated proteolytic cascade or through a mutually dependent mechanism involving the formation of a reciprocal zymogen activation complex. Here we show that this putative relationship may not apply in the context of human matriptase and prostasin. First, the tightly coupled proteolytic cascade between matriptase and prostasin might not occur when modest matriptase activation is induced by sphingosine 1-phospahte in human mammary epithelial cells. Second, prostasin is not required and/or involved in matriptase autoactivation because matriptase can undergo zymogen activation in cells that do not endogenously express prostasin. Third, matriptase is not required for and/or involved in prostasin activation, since activated prostasin can be detected in cells expressing no endogenous matriptase. Finally, matriptase and prostasin both undergo zymogen activation through an apparently un-coupled mechanism in cells endogenously expressing both proteases, such as in Caco-2 cells. In these human enterocytes, matriptase is detected primarily in the zymogen form and prostasin predominantly as the activated form, either in complexes with protease inhibitors or as the free active form. The negligible levels of prostasin zymogen with high levels of matriptase zymogen suggests that the reciprocal zymogen activation complex is likely not the mechanism for matriptase zymogen activation. Furthermore, high level prostasin activation still occurs in Caco-2 variants with reduced or absent matriptase expression, indicating that matriptase is not required and/or involved in prostasin zymogen activation. Collectively, these data suggest that any functional relationship between natural endogenous human matriptase and prostasin does not occur at the level of zymogen activation.
PMCID: PMC5148038  PMID: 27936035
2.  Matriptase and prostasin are expressed in human skin in an inverse trend over the course of differentiation and are targeted to different regions of the plasma membrane 
Biology Open  2016;5(10):1380-1387.
Matriptase and prostasin, acting as a tightly coupled proteolytic cascade, were reported to be required for epidermal barrier formation in mouse skin. Here we show that, in human skin, matriptase and prostasin are expressed with an inverse pattern over the course of differentiation. Matriptase was detected primarily in epidermal basal keratinocytes and the basaloid cells in the outer root sheath of hair follicles and the sebaceous gland, where prostasin was not detected. In contrast, prostasin was detected primarily in differentiated cells in the epidermal granular layer, the inner root sheath of hair follicles, and the sebaceous gland, where matriptase expression is negligible. While co-expressed in the middle stage of differentiation, prostasin was detected as polarized patches, and matriptase at intercellular junctions. Targeting to different subcellular localizations is also observed in HaCaT human keratinocytes, in which matriptase was detected primarily at intercellular junctions, and prostasin primarily on membrane protrusion. Furthermore, upon induction of zymogen activation, free active prostasin remains cell-associated and free active matriptase is rapidly shed into the extracellular milieu. Our data suggest that matriptase and prostasin likely function as independent entities in human skin rather than as a tightly coupled proteolytic cascade as observed in mouse skin.
Summary: The inverse expression pattern between matriptase and prostasin during differentiation in human skin demonstrated here provides a stark contrast to their close functional link suggested from mouse models.
PMCID: PMC5087689  PMID: 27543057
Matriptase; Prostasin; Skin
3.  Matriptase regulates proliferation and early, but not terminal, differentiation of human keratinocytes 
Genetic defects in matriptase are linked to two congenital ichthyosis, autosomal recessive ichthyosis with hypotrichosis (ARIH, OMIM 610765) and, ichthyosis, follicular atrophoderma, hypotrichosis, and hypohidrosis (IFAH, OMIM602400). Mouse models with matriptase deficiency indicate an involvement of matriptase in suprabasal keratinocytes in the maintenance of the epidermal barrier. In contrast to what has been reported for mouse skin, we show that in human skin, matriptase is primarily expressed in the basal and spinous keratinocytes, but not in the more differentiated keratinocytes of the granular layer. In addition, matriptase zymogen activation was predominantly detected in the basal cells. Furthermore, using skin organotypic cultures as a model system to monitor the course of human epidermal differentiation, we found elevated matriptase zymogen activation during early stages of epidermal differentiation, coupled with a loss of matriptase expression in the late stages of this process. We also show here that matriptase deficiency in HaCaT cells modestly reduces cell proliferation and temporally affects calcium-induced expression of differentiation markers. These collective data suggests that, unlike mouse matriptase, human matriptase may be involved in regulation of keratinocyte growth and early differentiation, rather than terminal differentiation, providing mechanistic insights for the pathology of the two congenital ichthyoses, ARIH and IFAH.
PMCID: PMC3925676  PMID: 23900022
4.  Matriptase Complexes and Prostasin Complexes with HAI-1 and HAI-2 in Human Milk: Significant Proteolysis in Lactation 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(4):e0152904.
Significant proteolysis may occur during milk synthesis and secretion, as evidenced by the presence of protease-protease inhibitor complex containing the activated form of the type 2 transmembrane serine protease matriptase and the transmembrane Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor HAI-1. In order to identify other proteolysis events that may occur during lactation, human milk was analyzed for species containing HAI-1 and HAI-2 which is closely related to HAI-1. In addition to the previously demonstrated matriptase-HAI-1 complex, HAI-1 was also detected in complex with prostasin, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored serine protease. HAI-2 was also detected in complexes, the majority of which appear to be part of higher-order complexes, which do not bind to ionic exchange columns or immunoaffinity columns, suggesting that HAI-2 and its target proteases may be incorporated into special protein structures during lactation. The small proportion HAI-2 species that could be purified contain matriptase or prostasin. Human mammary epithelial cells are the likely cellular sources for these HAI-1 and HAI-2 complexes with matriptase and prostasin given that these protease-inhibitor complexes with the exception of prostasin-HAI-2 complex were detected in milk-derived mammary epithelial cells. The presence of these protease-inhibitor complexes in human milk provides in vivo evidence that the proteolytic activity of matriptase and prostasin are significantly elevated at least during lactation, and possibly contribute to the process of lactation, and that they are under tight control by HAI-1 and HAI-2.
PMCID: PMC4820252  PMID: 27043831
5.  Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2 prevents shedding of matriptase 
Experimental cell research  2013;319(6):918-929.
Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2 (HAI-2) is an inhibitor of many proteases in vitro, including the membrane-bound serine protease, matriptase. Studies of knock-out mice have shown that HAI-2 is essential for placental development only in mice expressing matriptase, suggesting that HAI-2 is important for regulation of matriptase. Previous studies have shown that recombinant expression of matriptase was unsuccessful unless co-expressed with another HAI, HAI-1. In the present study we show that when human matriptase is recombinantly expressed alone in the canine cell line MDCK, then human matriptase mRNA can be detected and the human matriptase ectodomain is shed to the media, suggesting that matriptase expressed alone is rapidly transported through the secretory pathway and shed. Whereas matriptase expressed together with HAI-1 or HAI-2 accumulates on the plasma membrane where it is activated, as judged by cleavage at Arg614 and increased peptidolytic activity of the cell extracts. Mutagenesis of Kunitz domain 1 but not Kunitz domain 2 abolished this function of HAI-2. HAI-2 seems to carry out its function intracellularly as this is where the vast majority of HAI-2 is located and since HAI-2 could not be detected on the basolateral plasma membrane where matriptase resides. However, minor amounts of HAI-2 not undergoing endocytosis could be detected on the apical plasma membrane. Our results suggest that Kunitz domain 1 of HAI-2 cause matriptase to accumulate in a membrane-bound form on the basolateral plasma membrane.
PMCID: PMC4810019  PMID: 23333561
Matriptase; HAI-2; HAI-1; Shedding
6.  Targeting zymogen activation to control the matriptase-prostasin proteolytic cascade 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(21):7567-7578.
Membrane-associated serine protease matriptase has been implicated in human diseases, and might be a drug target. In the present study, a novel class of matriptase inhibitors targeting zymogen activation is developed by a combination of the screening of compound library using a cell-based matriptase activation assay and a computer-aided search of commercially available analogs of a selected compound. Four structurally related compounds are identified that can inhibit matriptase activation with IC50 at low μM in both intact-cell and cell-free systems, suggesting that these inhibitors target the matriptase autoactivation machinery rather than the intracellular signaling pathways. These activation inhibitors can also inhibit prostasin activation, a downstream event that occurs in lockstep with matriptase activation. In contrast, the matriptase catalytic inhibitor CVS-3983 at a concentration 300-fold higher than its Ki fails to inhibit activation of either protease. Our results suggest that inhibiting matriptase activation is an efficient way to control matriptase function.
PMCID: PMC3214968  PMID: 21966950
7.  N-Glycan Branching Affects the Subcellular Distribution of and Inhibition of Matriptase by HAI-2/Placental Bikunin 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0132163.
The gene product of SPINT 2, that encodes a transmembrane, Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor independently designated as HAI-2 or placenta bikunin (PB), is involved in regulation of sodium absorption in human gastrointestinal track. Here, we show that SPINT 2 is expressed as two species of different size (30-40- versus 25-kDa) due to different N-glycans on Asn-57. The N-glycan on 25-kDa HAI-2 appears to be of the oligomannose type and that on 30-40-kDa HAI-2 to be of complex type with extensive terminal N-acetylglucosamine branching. The two different types of N-glycan differentially mask two epitopes on HAI-2 polypeptide, recognized by two different HAI-2 mAbs. The 30-40-kDa form may be mature HAI-2, and is primarily localized in vesicles/granules. The 25-kDa form is likely immature HAI-2, that remains in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the perinuclear regions of mammary epithelial cells. The two different N-glycans could, therefore, represent different maturation stages of N-glycosylation with the 25-kDa likely a precursor of the 30-40-kDa HAI-2, with the ratio of their levels roughly similar among a variety of cells. In breast cancer cells, a significant amount of the 30-40-kDa HAI-2 can translocate to and inhibit matriptase on the cell surface, followed by shedding of the matriptase-HAI-2 complex. The 25-kDa HAI-2 appears to have also exited the ER/Golgi, being localized at the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane of breast cancer cells. While the 25-kDa HAI-2 was also detected at the extracellular face of plasma membrane at very low levels it appears to have no role in matriptase inhibition probably due to its paucity on the cell surface. Our study reveals that N-glycan branching regulates HAI-2 through different subcellular distribution and subsequently access to different target proteases.
PMCID: PMC4501743  PMID: 26171609
8.  Differential Subcellular Localization Renders HAI-2 a Matriptase Inhibitor in Breast Cancer Cells but Not in Mammary Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0120489.
The type 2 transmembrane serine protease matriptase is under tight control primarily by the actions of the integral membrane Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor HAI-1. Growing evidence indicates that HAI-2 might also be involved in matriptase inhibition in some contexts. Here we showed that matriptase inhibition by HAI-2 depends on the subcellular localizations of HAI-2, and is observed in breast cancer cells but not in mammary epithelial cells. HAI-2 is co-expressed with matriptase in 21 out of 26 human epithelial and carcinoma cells examined. HAI-2 is also a potent matriptase inhibitor in solution, but in spite of this, HAI-2 inhibition of matriptase is not observed in all contexts where HAI-2 is expressed, unlike what is seen for HAI-1. Induction of matriptase zymogen activation in mammary epithelial cells results in the formation of matriptase-HAI-1 complexes, but matriptase-HAI-2 complexes are not observed. In breast cancer cells, however, in addition to the appearance of matriptase-HAI-1 complex, three different matriptase-HAI-2 complexes, are formed following the induction of matriptase activation. Immunofluorescent staining reveals that activated matriptase is focused at the cell-cell junctions upon the induction of matriptase zymogen activation in both mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells. HAI-2, in contrast, remains localized in vesicle/granule-like structures during matriptase zymogen activation in human mammary epithelial cells. In breast cancer cells, however, a proportion of the HAI-2 reaches the cell surface where it can gain access to and inhibit active matriptase. Collectively, these data suggest that matriptase inhibition by HAI-2 requires the translocation of HAI-2 to the cell surface, a process which is observed in some breast cancer cells but not in mammary epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC4364774  PMID: 25786220
9.  HAI-2 suppresses the invasive growth and metastasis of prostate cancer through regulation of matriptase 
Oncogene  2013;33(38):4643-4652.
Dysregulation of cell surface proteolysis has been strongly implicated in tumorigenicity and metastasis. In this study, we delineated the role of hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2 (HAI-2) in prostate cancer (PCa) cell migration, invasion, tumorigenicity and metastasis using a human PCa progression model (103E, N1, and N2 cells) and xenograft models. N1 and N2 cells were established through serial intraprostatic propagation of 103E human PCa cells and isolation of the metastatic cells from nearby lymph nodes. The invasion capability of these cells was revealed to gradually increase throughout the serial isolations (103E
PMCID: PMC4314694  PMID: 24121274
prostate cancer; hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2; cancer cell invasion; tumorigenicity and metastasis
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93899.
The ability of cells to rapidly detect and react to alterations in their chemical environment, such as pH, ionic strength and redox potential, is essential for cell function and survival. We present here evidence that cells can respond to such environmental alterations by rapid induction of matriptase autoactivation. Specifically, we show that matriptase autoactivation can occur spontaneously at physiological pH, and is significantly enhanced by acidic pH, both in a cell-free system and in living cells. The acid-accelerated autoactivation can be attenuated by chloride, a property that may be part of a safety mechanism to prevent unregulated matriptase autoactivation. Additionally, the thio-redox balance of the environment also modulates matriptase autoactivation. Using the cell-free system, we show that matriptase autoactivation is suppressed by cytosolic reductive factors, with this cytosolic suppression being reverted by the addition of oxidizing agents. In living cells, we observed rapid induction of matriptase autoactivation upon exposure to toxic metal ions known to induce oxidative stress, including CoCl2 and CdCl2. The metal-induced matriptase autoactivation is suppressed by N-acetylcysteine, supporting the putative role of altered cellular redox state in metal induced matriptase autoactivation. Furthermore, matriptase knockdown rendered cells more susceptible to CdCl2-induced cell death compared to control cells. This observation implies that the metal-induced matriptase autoactivation confers cells with the ability to survive exposure to toxic metals and/or oxidative stress. Our results suggest that matriptase can act as a cellular sensor of the chemical environment of the cell that allows the cell to respond to and protect itself from changes in the chemical milieu.
PMCID: PMC3976350  PMID: 24705933
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92244.
The type 2 transmembrane serine protease matriptase is broadly expressed in human carcinomas and hematological cancers. The proteolytic activity of matriptase is a potential target of drugs and imaging probes. We assessed the fate of active matriptase following the induction of matriptase zymogen activation. Exposing eight human carcinoma cells to pH 6.0 buffer induced robust matriptase zymogen activation followed by rapid inhibition of the nascent active matriptase by hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor (HAI)-1. Consequently, no enzymatically active matriptase was detected in these cells. Some active matriptase is, however, rapidly shed to the extracellular milieu by these carcinoma cells. The lack of cell-associated active matriptase and the shedding of active matriptase were also observed in two hematological cancer lines. Matriptase shedding is correlated closely with the induction of matriptase activation, suggesting that matriptase activation and shedding are kinetically coupled. The coupling allows a proportion of active matriptase to survive HAI-1 inhibition by rapid shedding from cell surface. Our study suggests that cellular free, active matriptase is scarce and might not be an effective target for in vivo imaging and drug development.
PMCID: PMC3963879  PMID: 24663123
Cancer Science  2013;105(1):44-51.
Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor type 1 (HAI-1) is a membrane-bound serine protease inhibitor that is expressed on the surface of epithelial and carcinoma cells. On the cell surface, HAI-1 regulates membrane-anchored serine proteases, with matriptase being the most critical target. Matriptase is involved in pericellular processing of biologically active molecules, including protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2). Previously we reported that S2-CP8 cells, a metastatic variant of the SUIT-2 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line, showed markedly decreased HAI-1 expression. To assess the significance of HAI-1 loss in invasion and spontaneous metastasis of S2-CP8 cells, we established stable S2-CP8 sublines that expressed HAI-1 under the control of a tetracycline-regulated promoter. In vitro migration and invasion assays revealed inhibitory effects of HAI-1 on S2-CP8 cell migration and invasion. Matriptase activity was suppressed by the expression of HAI-1. As the enhanced invasiveness in the absence of HAI-1 was alleviated by knockdown of matriptase by 81% and of PAR-2 completely, and PAR-2 antagonist also suppressed the invasion, matriptase-mediated PAR-2 activation is involved in HAI-1 loss-induced invasion of S2-CP8 cells. We then analyzed the effect of HAI-1 expression on metastasis of S2-CP8 cells in vivo using a nude mouse orthotopic xenograft model. Although approximately 50% of the control mice developed distant metastasis, mice treated with doxycycline to induce HAI-1 expression did not develop metastasis. These data indicate that HAI-1 loss contributes to invasion and dissemination of a highly metastatic subline of SUIT-2, suggesting crucial roles for the balance of pericellular serine proteases/inhibitors in pancreatic cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC4317873  PMID: 24147538
HAI-1; invasion; metastasis; pancreatic cancer; PAR-2
Anti-cancer drugs  2012;23(2):200-211.
Breast cancer mortality is primarily due to the occurrence of metastatic disease. We have identified a novel potential therapeutic agent derived from an edible root of the plant Colocasia esculenta, commonly known as taro, that has demonstrable activity in a preclinical model of metastatic breast cancer and that should have minimal toxicity. We have shown for the first time that a water-soluble extract of taro (TE) potently inhibits lung colonizing ability as well as spontaneous metastasis from mammary gland-implanted tumors, in a murine model of highly metastatic ER, PR and Her-2/neu negative breast cancer. TE modestly inhibits proliferation of some, but not all, breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Morphologic changes including cell rounding were observed. Tumor cell migration was completely blocked by TE. TE treatment also inhibited prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis and downregulated cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and 2 mRNA expression. We purified the active compound(s) to near homogeneity with antimetastatic activity comparable to stock TE. The active compound with a native size of approximately 25 kD contains two fragments of nearly equal size. The N-terminal amino acid sequencing of both fragments reveals that the active compound is highly related to three taro proteins; 12 kD storage protein, tarin and lectin. All are similar in terms of amino acid sequence, post-translational processing and all contain a carbohydrate-binding domain. This is the first report describing a compound(s) derived from taro, that potently and specifically inhibits tumor metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3769987  PMID: 21934603
Taro; Breast cancer; Antimetastatic activity; Tumor; Cancer therapy
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62826.
Matriptase, a membrane-associated serine protease, plays an essential role in epidermal barrier function through activation of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored serine protease prostasin. The matriptase-prostasin proteolytic cascade is tightly regulated by hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor (HAI)-1 such that matriptase autoactivation and prostasin activation occur simultaneously and are followed immediately by the inhibition of both enzymes by HAI-1. However, the mechanisms whereby matriptase acts on extracellular substrates remain elusive. Here we report that some active matriptase can escape HAI-1 inhibition by being rapidly shed from the cell surface. In the pericellular environment, shed active matriptase is able to activate hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), accelerate plasminogen activation, and shed syndecan 1. The amount of active matriptase shed is inversely correlated with the amount of antithrombin (AT) bound to the surface of the keratinocytes. Binding of AT to the surface of keratinocytes is dependent on a functional heparin binding site, Lys-125, and that the N-glycosylation site Asn-135 be unglycosylated. This suggests that β-AT, and not α-AT, is responsible for regulation of pericellular matriptase activity in keratinocytes. Keratinocytes appear to rely on AT to regulate the level of pericellular active matriptase much more than breast and prostate epithelial cells in which AT regulation of matriptase activity occurs at much lower levels than keratinocytes. These results suggest that keratinocytes employ two distinct serine protease inhibitors to control the activation and processing of two different sets of matriptase substrates leading to different biological events: 1) HAI-1 for prostasin activation/inhibition, and 2) AT for the pericellular proteolysis involved in HGF activation, accelerating plasminogen activation, and shedding of syndecans.
PMCID: PMC3652837  PMID: 23675430
Cancer research  2010;70(23):9631-9640.
Increasing evidence indicates the significance of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (β-PDGFR) signaling in prostate cancer (PCa). Accordingly, preclinical studies suggest the potential of β-PDGFR as a therapeutic target in metastatic PCa. However, a ligand responsible for β-PDGFR activation in PCa was unknown, and recent clinical trials with imatinib mesylate showed limited success due to normal tissue toxicity. Similarly, in spite of mounting evidence indicating the significance of matriptase in PCa, little is known about its substrates or molecular actions during PCa progression. Here, we identified PDGF-D as a ligand for β-PDGFR in PCa and discovered matriptase as its regulator. Matriptase activates PDGF-D by proteolytic removal of the CUB domain in a two-step process, creating a hemidimer (HD) followed by growth factor domain dimer (GFD-D) generation. Matriptase can deactivate PDGF-D by further proteolytic cleavage within the GFD, revealing its biphasic regulation. Importantly, PDGF-D/matriptase co-localization is accompanied with β-PDGFR phosphorylation in human PCa tissues. This study unveiled a novel signaling axis of matriptase/PDGF-D/β-PDGFR in PCa, providing new insights into functional interplay between serine protease and growth factor signaling networks.
PMCID: PMC3058856  PMID: 21098708
Genitourinary cancers; prostate; Protease-inhibitor systems; Growth factors and receptors
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2007;1783(5):896-903.
Prostasin is expressed at the apical surface of normal epithelial cells and suppresses in vitro invasion of cancer cells. Prostasin re-expression in the PC-3 prostate carcinoma cells down-regulated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein expression and EGF-induced phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk1/2). We report here that prostasin and its activating enzyme matriptase are capable of inducing proteolytic cleavages in the EGFR extracellular domain (ECD) when co-expressed in the FT-293 cells, generating two amino-terminally truncated fragments EGFR135 and EGFR110, at 135 and 110 kDa. Prostasin’s role in EGFR cleavage is dependent on the serine active site but not the GPI-anchor. The modifications of EGFR were confirmed to be on the primary structure by deglycosylation. EGFR135 and EGFR110 are not responsive to EGF stimulation, indicating loss of the ligand-binding domains. EGFR110 is constitutively phosphorylated and in its presence Erk1/2 phosphorylation is increased in the absence of EGF. The protease-induced EGFR cleavages are not dependent on EGFR phosphorylation. The EGFR ECD proteolytic modification by matriptase-prostasin is also observed in the BEAS-2B normal lung epithelial cells, the BPH-1 benign prostate hyperplasia and the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines; and represents a novel mechanism for epithelial cells to modulate EGF-EGFR signaling.
PMCID: PMC3214967  PMID: 18054338
ErbB Receptor Tyrosine Kinases; GPI-anchor; Transmembrane Glycoprotein; Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinases; MT-SP1; PRSS8
Developmental cell  2010;18(1):25.
We report an unexpected role for protease signaling in neural tube closure and formation of the central nervous system. Mouse embryos lacking protease-activated receptor 1 and 2 showed defective hindbrain and posterior neuropore closure and developed exencephaly and spina bifida, important human congenital anomalies. Par1 and Par2 were expressed in surface ectoderm, Par2 selectively along the line of closure. Ablation of Gi/z and Rac1 function in these Par2-expressing cells disrupted neural tube closure, further implicating G protein-coupled receptors and identifying a likely effector pathway. Cluster analysis of protease and Par2 expression patterns revealed a group of membrane-tethered proteases often co-expressed with Par2. Among these, matriptase activated Par2 with picomolar potency, and hepsin and prostasin activated matriptase. Together, our results suggest a role for protease-activated receptor signaling in neural tube closure and identify a local protease network that may trigger Par2 signaling and monitor and regulate epithelial integrity in this context.
PMCID: PMC2822780  PMID: 20152175
Cancer letters  2009;276(2):171-179.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is an important regulator of cellular functions via interaction with its receptors S1P1–5. To date, nothing is known about the S1P receptor expression and the effects of S1P signaling in Wilms tumor. In this study, we found ubiquitous expression of S1P receptors in Wilms tumor specimens and cell lines. We demonstrated that S1P1 acted as a promigratory modulator by employing S1P1 antagonist VPC44116, S1P1 siRNA and adenoviral transduction in Wilms tumor cells. Further, we clarified that S1P1-mediated migration occurred via Gi coupling and activation of PI3K and Rac1. In addition, S1P stimulated WiT49 cell invasion through S1P1/Gi signaling pathway. We consider that targeting S1P1 may be a point of therapeutic intervention in Wilms tumor.
PMCID: PMC2943759  PMID: 19131156
migration; invasion; sphingosine 1-phosphate; WiT49; Wilms tumor
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2007;1773(7):1133-1140.
Expression of prostasin in the PC-3 human prostate carcinoma cells inhibited in vitro invasion, but the molecular mechanisms are unknown. Wild-type human prostasin or a serine active-site mutant prostasin was expressed in the PC-3 cells. Molecular changes were measured at the mRNA and the protein levels. Cell signaling changes were evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk1/2) following epidermal growth factor (EGF) treatment of the cells. Protein expression of the EGF receptor (EGFR) was differentially down-regulated by the wild-type and the active-site mutant prostasin. The mRNA expression of EGFR and the transcription repressor SLUG was reduced in cells expressing wild-type prostasin but not the active-site mutant. Phosphorylation of Erk1/2 in response to EGF was greatly reduced by the wild-type prostasin but not by the active-site mutant. The mRNA expression of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), the uPA receptor (uPAR), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was decreased by the wild-type and the active-site mutant prostasin. The mRNA or protein expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), matriptase, and E-cadherin was greatly increased by the active-site mutant prostasin. In conclusion, prostasin expression elicits both protease-dependent and independent molecular changes in the PC-3 cells.
PMCID: PMC1950849  PMID: 17532063
Serine Protease; Matriptase; Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor; Prostate Cancer

Results 1-19 (19)