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Cell Regul. 1990 Dec;1(13):1043-56.

Lysosomal degradation of receptor-bound urokinase-type plasminogen activator is enhanced by its inhibitors in human trophoblastic choriocarcinoma cells.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


We have studied the effect of plasminogen activator inhibitors PAI-1 and PAI-2 on the binding of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) to its receptor in the human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR. With 125I-labeled ligands in whole-cell binding assays, both uncomplexed u-PA and u-PA-inhibitor complexes bound to the receptor with a Kd of approximately 100 pM at 4 degrees C. Transferring the cells to 37 degrees C led to degradation to amino acids of up to 50% of the cell-bound u-PA-inhibitor complexes, whereas the degradation of uncomplexed u-PA was 15%; the remaining ligand was recovered in an apparently intact form in the medium or was still cell associated. The degradation could be inhibited by inhibitors of vesicle transport and lysosomal hydrolases. By electron microscopic autoradiography, both 125I-u-PA and 125I-u-PA-inhibitor complexes were located over the cell membrane at 4 degrees C, with the highest density of grains over the membrane at cell-cell interphases, but, after incubation at 37 degrees C, 17 and 27% of the grains for u-PA and u-PA-PAI-1 complexes, respectively, appeared over lysosomal-like bodies. These findings suggest that the u-PA receptor possesses a clearance function for the removal of u-PA after its complex formation with a specific inhibitor. The data suggest a novel mechanism by which receptor-mediated endocytosis is initiated by the binding of a secondary ligand.

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