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J Leukoc Biol. 2005 Oct;78(4):937-45. Epub 2005 Jul 20.

The kringle domain of urokinase-type plasminogen activator potentiates LPS-induced neutrophil activation through interaction with {alpha}V{beta}3 integrins.

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Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) is a serine protease that catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin. In addition, uPA has been shown to have proinflammatory properties, particularly in potentiating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neutrophil responses. To explore the mechanisms by which uPA exerts these effects, we examined the ability of specific uPA domains to increase cytokine expression in murine and human neutrophils stimulated with LPS. Whereas the addition of intact uPA to neutrophils cultured with LPS increased mRNA and protein levels of interleukin-1beta, macrophage-inflammatory protein-2, and tumor necrosis factor alpha, deletion of the kringle domain (KD) from uPA resulted in loss of these potentiating effects. Addition of purified uPA KD to LPS-stimulated neutrophils increased cytokine expression to a degree comparable with that produced by single-chain uPA. Inclusion of the arginine-glycine-aspartic but not the arginine-glycine-glutamic peptide to neutrophil cultures blocked uPA kringle-induced potentiation of proinflammatory responses, demonstrating that interactions between the KD and integrins were involved. Antibodies to alpha(V) or beta(3) integrins or to the combination of alpha(V)beta(3) prevented uPA kringle-induced enhancement of expression of proinflammatory cytokines and also of adhesion of neutrophils to the uPA KD. These results demonstrate that the KD of uPA, through interaction with alpha(V)beta(3) integrins, potentiates neutrophil activation.

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