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J Neurochem. 2009 Sep;110(5):1433-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06226.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Alpha A-crystallin and alpha B-crystallin, newly identified interaction proteins of protease-activated receptor-2, rescue astrocytes from C2-ceramide- and staurosporine-induced cell death.

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Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Neurobiochemie, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Magdeburg 39120, Germany.


Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by trypsin and other trypsin-like serine proteases. The widely expressed PAR-2 is involved in inflammation response but the physiological/pathological roles of PAR-2 in the nervous system are still uncertain. In the present study, we report novel PAR-2 interaction proteins, alphaA-crystallin and alphaB-crystallin. These 20 kDa proteins have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like Alexander's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Results from yeast two-hybrid assay using the cytoplasmic C-tail of PAR-2 as bait suggested that alphaA-crystallin interacts with PAR-2. We further demonstrate the in vitro and cellular in vivo interaction of C-tail of PAR-2 as well as of full-length PAR-2 with alphaA(alphaB)-crystallins. We use pull-down, co-immunoprecipitation, and co-localization assays. Analysis of alphaA-crystallin deletion mutants showed that amino acids 120-130 and 136-154 of alphaA-crystallin are required for the interaction with PAR-2. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments ruled out an interaction of alphaA(alphaB)-crystallins with PAR-1, PAR-3, and PAR-4. This demonstrates that alphaA(alphaB)-crystallins are PAR-2-specific interaction proteins. Moreover, we investigated the functional role of PAR-2 and alpha-crystallins in astrocytes. Evidence is presented to show that PAR-2 activation and increased expression of alpha-crystallins reduced C2-ceramide- and staurosporine-induced cell death in astrocytes. Thus, both PAR-2 and alpha-crystallins are involved in cytoprotection in astrocytes.

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