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Biotech Histochem. 2000 Mar;75(2):85-90.

Localization of protease-activated receptors-1 and -2 in human mast cells: indications for an amplified mast cell degranulation cascade.

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R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Spring House, Pennsylvania 19477, USA.


Protease-activated receptors (PARs) belong to a family of G-coupled seven transmembrane receptors that are activated by a proteolytic cleavage of their N-termini. Recent studies suggest the involvement of protease-activated receptors-1 and -2 (PAR-1, PAR-2) activators in mast cell degranulation in various physiological and pathophysiological processes in inflammatory responses. Although PAR-1 and PAR-2 activating proteases, thrombin and tryptase, have been associated with mast cell activation, PAR-1 and PAR-2 have not been localized within these cells. We describe here the localization of PAR-1 and PAR-2 in mast cells from various normal human tissues using immunohistochemical and double immunofluorescence techniques. The presence of these receptors on the membrane may explain the actions of accessible extracellular thrombin and tryptase for mast cell activation. In addition to the membrane labeling, these receptors are also localized on the membrane of the intracellular tryptase-positive granules, which may function to sustain further mast cell degranulation upon exocytosis. The localization of these two receptors in mast cells suggests a novel mechanism for controlling mast cell activation through regulation of PAR-1 and PAR-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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