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

Protease nexin-1: a cellular serpin down-regulated by thrombin in rat aortic smooth muscle cells.

Protease nexin-1 (PN-1), a potent inhibitor of serine proteases, is present in vascular cells and forms complexes with thrombin, plasminogen activators, and plasmin. We examined the effect of thrombin on PN-1 expression by rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs). PN-1 expression was determined by measuring protein and mRNA levels, using respectively immunoblotting and semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thrombin down-regulated PN-1 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This effect was mediated via the interaction of thrombin with its receptor protease activated receptor (PAR-1) since the peptide thrombin receptor activating peptide (TRAP) reduced PN-1 expression. PN-1 secreted by smooth muscle cells remained essentially associated to cell-surface glycosaminoglycans and was released from the cell surface by heparin. A lower amount of PN-1 was released by heparin from TRAP-stimulated versus unstimulated cells and correlated with a decreased capacity to inhibit thrombin. In addition, the ability to generate peri-cellular plasmin was increased in cells with a low PN-1 expression. Pre-treatment of smooth muscle cells with cycloheximide abolished the reduction of PN-1 expression by thrombin. Furthermore, conditioned media from thrombin-treated cells reproduced the effect of thrombin, suggesting that thrombin acted via the induction of auto/paracrine mediator(s). We observed that fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2)-neutralizing antibodies abolished thrombin effect whereas FGF-2 reproduced it, indicating that FGF-2 is one of the involved mediator. Together, these results indicate that (i) PN-1 modulates the activity of endogenous and exogenous serine proteases in RASMCs, (ii) thrombin down-regulates PN-1 expression and thus may increase its own activity on cells.[1]


  1. Protease nexin-1: a cellular serpin down-regulated by thrombin in rat aortic smooth muscle cells. Richard, B., Arocas, V., Guillin, M.C., Michel, J.B., Jandrot-Perrus, M., Bouton, M.C. J. Cell. Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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