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Exp Cell Res. 2005 Mar 10;304(1):16-27. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

Factor Xa stimulates fibroblast procollagen production, proliferation, and calcium signaling via PAR1 activation.

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Royal Free and University College London Medical School, Centre for Cardiopulmonary Biochemistry and Respiratory Medicine, 5 University Street, London WC1E 6JJ, UK.


Fibroblast proliferation and procollagen production are central features of tissue repair and fibrosis. In addition to its role in blood clotting, the coagulation cascade proteinase thrombin can contribute to tissue repair by stimulating fibroblasts via proteolytic activation of proteinase-activated receptor-1 (PAR1). During hemostasis, the coagulation cascade proteinase factor X is converted into factor Xa. We have previously shown that factor Xa upregulates fibroblast proliferation via production of autocrine PDGF. In this study, we further examined the effects of factor Xa on fibroblast function and aimed to identify its signaling receptor. We showed that factor Xa stimulates procollagen promoter activity and protein production by human and mouse fibroblasts. This effect was independent of PDGF and thrombin production, but dependent on factor Xa proteolytic activity. We also showed that PAR1-deficient mouse fibroblasts did not upregulate procollagen production, mobilize cytosolic calcium, or proliferate in response to factor Xa. Desensitization techniques and PAR1-specific agonists and inhibitors were used to demonstrate that PAR1 mediates factor Xa signaling in human fibroblasts. This is the first report that factor Xa stimulates extracellular matrix production. In contrast with endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts appear to be the only cell type in which the effects of factor Xa are mediated mainly via PAR1 and not PAR2. These findings are critical for our understanding of tissue repair and fibrotic mechanisms, and for the design of novel approaches to inhibit the profibrotic effects of the coagulation cascade without compromising blood hemostasis.

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