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J Cell Physiol. 2006 Feb;206(2):394-401.

Urokinase (u-PA) is produced by collecting duct principal cells and is post-transcriptionally regulated by SV40 large-T, arginine vasopressin, and epidermal growth factor.

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INSERM, U702, University Pierre et Marie Curie, and Hôpital Tenon, Paris, France.


We have analyzed the expression and regulation of plasminogen activators (PA) in principal cells of the renal collecting duct. We used a rabbit principal cell line (RC.SVtsA58) infected with the temperature-sensitive SV40 strain tsA58. Transformed cells cultured at permissive temperature (33 degrees C) produced only tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA). Shifting the cells to nonpermissive temperature (39.5 degrees C) induced their differentiation and a marked increase in total fibrinolytic activity due to the induction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) synthesis and secretion. The effect on u-PA was post-transcriptional and it could be attributed to large-T inactivation at 39.5 degrees C since it was abolished by re-infecting the cells with wild-type SV40. Run-on assay and real-time RT-PCR of u-PA transcripts indicated that large-T altered post-transcriptional regulation. u-PA was also produced by primary cultures of collecting duct cells and was present in the rabbit urine. In the kidney, u-PA and its receptor (u-PAR) were almost exclusively expressed at the apex of collecting duct cells. We then analyzed the regulation of u-PA by arginine vasopressin (AVP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF), two key regulators of principal cell functions. We found that AVP and EGF, which have opposite hydro-osmotic effects in the collecting duct, also exhibited contrasted effects on u-PA synthesis in differentiated RC.SVtsA58 cells. EGF increased but AVP suppressed u-PA activity and protein, and these regulations occurred at post-transcriptional level. These results point to a physiological role of u-PA in principal cells of the renal collecting duct.

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