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

Pleiotrophic inhibition of pericellular urokinase-type plasminogen activator system by endogenous tumor suppressive maspin.

Maspin is a novel serine protease inhibitor with tumor suppressive activity, inhibiting tumor invasion and metastasis. To date, the underlying molecular mechanism of maspin remains elusive. Recombinant maspin has been shown to specifically inhibit cell surface- associated urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and fibrinogen- bound tissue-type plasminogen activator. However, the role of endogenous maspin in plasminogen activation is totally unknown. To address this issue, we generated stable maspin-expressing transfectants using prostate carcinoma cells DU145 as the parental cell line. We report here that endogenous maspin exerts pleiotropic inhibitory effects on the pericellular uPA system. Maspin expression led to a significantly reduced level of cell surface- bound uPA and uPA receptor proteins without altering the steady-state levels of the respective mRNAs. Treatment with receptor-associated protein (RAP), a specific inhibitor of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein, lead to a significantly increased level of secreted uPA and cell surface uPAR in maspin transfectants but not in the mock control cells. A combination of enzymatic and molecular analyses revealed that maspin inhibits the cell surface- mediated plasminogen activation by forming an SDS-resistant complex with cell surface- bound uPA. In addition, maspin expression led to a dramatic reduction in the release of active uPA, both high molecular weight and the low molecular weight, into the conditioned culture medium. Consistently, the conditioned medium of maspin transfectant clones had a significantly reduced activity in converting plasminogen to plasmin. The inhibitory effect of maspin on pericellular uPA correlates with significantly decreased cell invasion potential and motility in vitro. The maspin-neutralizing antibody (Abs4A) reversed the subdued invasive potential of maspin transfectant cells in a dose-dependent manner. In summary, this study provides the first evidence that endogenous maspin is a potent inhibitor of pericellular uPA. Furthermore, our results support a current hypothesis that maspin blocks tumor invasion and motility by inhibiting localized pericellular proteolysis.[1]


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