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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jan 30;279(5):3497-508. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

Activation of platelet-activating factor receptor-coupled G alpha q leads to stimulation of Src and focal adhesion kinase via two separate pathways in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


Platelet-activating factor (PAF), a phospholipid second messenger, has diverse physiological functions, including responses in differentiated endothelial cells to external stimuli. We used human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as a model system. We show that PAF activated pertussis toxin-insensitive G alpha(q) protein upon binding to its seven transmembrane receptor. Elevated cAMP levels were observed via activation of adenylate cyclase, which activated protein kinase A (PKA) and was attenuated by a PAF receptor antagonist, blocking downstream activity. Phosphorylation of Src by PAF required G alpha(q) protein and adenylate cyclase activation; there was an absolute requirement of PKA for PAF-induced Src phosphorylation. Immediate (1 min) PAF-induced STAT-3 phosphorylation required the activation of G alpha(q) protein, adenylate cyclase, and PKA, and was independent of these intermediates at delayed (30 min) and prolonged (60 min) PAF exposure. PAF activated PLC beta 3 through its G alpha(q) protein-coupled receptor, whereas activation of phospholipase C gamma 1 (PLC gamma 1) by PAF was independent of G proteins but required the involvement of Src at prolonged PAF exposure (60 min). We demonstrate for the first time in vascular endothelial cells: (i) the involvement of signaling intermediates in the PAF-PAF receptor system in the induction of TIMP2 and MT1-MMP expression, resulting in the coordinated proteolytic activation of MMP2, and (ii) a receptor-mediated signal transduction cascade for the tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK by PAF. PAF exposure induced binding of p130(Cas), Src, SHC, and paxillin to FAK. Clearly, PAF-mediated signaling in differentiated endothelial cells is critical to endothelial cell functions, including cell migration and proteolytic activation of MMP2.

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