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Antisense Res Dev. 1995 Winter;5(4):307-14.

Regulation of mesothelial cell mitogenesis by antisense oligonucleotides for the urokinase receptor.

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University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, TX 75710, USA.


The association of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) with its receptor (uPAR) influences various biologic functions, including cell migration, angiogenesis, differentiation, and wound healing. Expression of uPAR at the mesothelial surface could, therefore, influence cellular responses in the pleural space. We found that a line of cultured human mesothelial cells (MeT5A) expressed specific and saturable binding sites for uPA that increased on stimulation with PMA. Ligand blotting studies showed that the mesothelial receptor is a 50 kD protein similar to that in other cell lines. Binding of active and intact, but not amino terminal or low molecular weight fragment, uPA to mesothelial cells enhanced DNA synthesis and cell proliferation, and antibodies against either the active site of uPA or uPAR abrogated this effect. We reasoned that regulation of uPAR expression could control uPA-induced mitogenesis and tested this hypothesis with antisense oligonucleotides complementary to uPAR mRNA. Phosphorothioate-modified antisense oligonucleotides inhibited uPA-mediated mesothelial cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects were associated with decreased binding of 125I-uPA and reduced expression of the uPAR gene product. The results indicate that uPAR is involved in signal transduction pathways that control uPA-mediated mesothelial cell proliferation, a process implicated in the pathogenesis of mesothelial inflammation and pleural neoplasia. Antisense oligonucleotides to uPAR suppress mesothelial cell mitogenesis in vitro and offer a potential means of regulating the process in vivo.

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