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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The surface of prostate carcinoma DU145 cells mediates the inhibition of urokinase-type plasminogen activator by maspin.

Maspin is a novel serine protease inhibitor (serpin) with tumor suppressive potential in breast and prostate cancer, acting at the level of tumor invasion and metastasis. It was subsequently demonstrated that maspin inhibits tumor invasion, at least in part, by inhibiting cell motility. Interestingly, in cell-free solutions, maspin does not inhibit several serine proteases including tissue-type plasminogen activator and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). Despite the recent biochemical evidence that maspin specifically inhibits tissue-type plasminogen activator that is associated with fibrinogen or poly-L-lysine, the molecular mechanism underlying the tumor-suppressive effect of maspin remains elusive. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of maspin on cell surface- associated uPA. In our experimental system, we chose prostate carcinoma DU145 cells because these cells mediate plasminogen activation primarily by uPA, as shown by two different colorimetric enzyme activity assays. Purified recombinant maspin produced in baculovirus-infected Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cells [rMaspin(i)] binds specifically to the surface of DU145 cells, inhibits the DU145 cell surface-bound uPA, and forms a stable complex with the uPA in DU145 cell lysate. The inhibitory effect of rMaspin(i) on cell surface-bound uPA was similar to that of an uPA-neutralizing antibody and was reversed by a polyclonal antibody against the reactive site loop sequence of maspin. The Ki value for rMaspin(i) in cell surface- mediated plasminogen activation was 20 nM, which was comparable to the Ki values for plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor 2, respectively. Furthermore, the proteolytic inhibitory effect of rMaspin(i) was quantitatively consistent with its inhibitory effect on the motility of DU145 cells in vitro. Our data demonstrate an important role for the prostate carcinoma cell surface in mediating the inhibitory interaction between rMaspin(i) and uPA. Thus, future maspin-based therapeutic strategies may prove useful in blocking the invasion and metastasis of uPA-positive prostate carcinoma.[1]


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