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PLoS Genet. 2012;8(8):e1002937. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002937. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Reduced prostasin (CAP1/PRSS8) activity eliminates HAI-1 and HAI-2 deficiency-associated developmental defects by preventing matriptase activation.

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1
Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Abstract

Loss of either hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor (HAI)-1 or -2 is associated with embryonic lethality in mice, which can be rescued by the simultaneous inactivation of the membrane-anchored serine protease, matriptase, thereby demonstrating that a matriptase-dependent proteolytic pathway is a critical developmental target for both protease inhibitors. Here, we performed a genetic epistasis analysis to identify additional components of this pathway by generating mice with combined deficiency in either HAI-1 or HAI-2, along with genes encoding developmentally co-expressed candidate matriptase targets, and screening for the rescue of embryonic development. Hypomorphic mutations in Prss8, encoding the GPI-anchored serine protease, prostasin (CAP1, PRSS8), restored placentation and normal development of HAI-1-deficient embryos and prevented early embryonic lethality, mid-gestation lethality due to placental labyrinth failure, and neural tube defects in HAI-2-deficient embryos. Inactivation of genes encoding c-Met, protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2), or the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) alpha subunit all failed to rescue embryonic lethality, suggesting that deregulated matriptase-prostasin activity causes developmental failure independent of aberrant c-Met and PAR-2 signaling or impaired epithelial sodium transport. Furthermore, phenotypic analysis of PAR-1 and matriptase double-deficient embryos suggests that the protease may not be critical for focal proteolytic activation of PAR-2 during neural tube closure. Paradoxically, although matriptase auto-activates and is a well-established upstream epidermal activator of prostasin, biochemical analysis of matriptase- and prostasin-deficient placental tissues revealed a requirement of prostasin for conversion of the matriptase zymogen to active matriptase, whereas prostasin zymogen activation was matriptase-independent.

PMID:
22952456
PMCID:
PMC3431340
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1002937
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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