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Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Mar;3(3):267-75.

A plasma kallikrein-dependent plasminogen cascade required for adipocyte differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Box 0452, University of California, 513 Parnasssus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Here we show that plasma kallikrein (PKal) mediates a plasminogen (Plg) cascade in adipocyte differentiation. Ecotin, an inhibitor of serine proteases, inhibits cell-shape change, adipocyte-specific gene expression, and lipid accumulation during adipogenesis in culture. Deficiency of Plg, but not of urokinase or tissue-type plasminogen activator, suppresses adipogenesis during differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells and mammary-gland involution. PKal, which is inhibited by ecotin, is required for adipose conversion, Plg activation and 3T3-L1 differentiation. Human plasma lacking PKal does not support differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. PKal is therefore a physiological regulator that acts in the Plg cascade during adipogenesis. We propose that the Plg cascade fosters adipocyte differentiation by degradation of the fibronectin-rich preadipocyte stromal matrix.

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