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

Expression of protease activated receptor 3 (PAR3) is upregulated by induction of megakaryocyte phenotype in human erythroleukemia (HEL) cells.

OBJECTIVE: Two major protease-activated receptors (PARs), PAR1 and PAR4, are involved in the activation of human platelets by thrombin. A third, PAR3, is preferentially expressed by tissues of hematopoietic origin and megakaryocytes. Although PAR3 is also a thrombin substrate, its low-level expression on human platelets suggests a function distinct from that of PAR1, the major receptor involved in thrombin-mediated platelet activation. We studied the expression of PARs during megakaryocyte differentiation of human erythroleukemia (HEL) cells in order to determine the role of PAR3 in megakaryocytopoiesis. METHODS: HEL cells exposed to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) to induce megakaryocyte differentiation were examined by light microscopy and flow cytometry (DNA ploidy, surface expression of PAR1, PAR3, GPIIb-IIIa). Northern blot, RT-PCR, and quantitative RT-PCR were used to evaluate the expression of PARs 1, 3, and 4 mRNA. HEL cells were also exposed to thrombin and thrombopoietin ( TPO). RESULTS: In baseline studies, unstimulated HEL cells were found to express comparable levels of PAR1 and PAR3 by Northern blot. Minimal expression of PAR4 was detected by RT-PCR, but not by Northern analysis. Exposure to PMA, but not thrombin or TPO, resulted in megakaryocytic differentiation as evident by increased cell size and nuclear complexity, increased ploidy, and enhanced expression of GPIIb-IIIa, a specific marker of megakaryocytes/platelets. PMA-stimulated HEL cells showed enhanced PAR3 cell-surface expression (approximately threefold increase by day 2) by flow cytometry. In contrast, there was no change in cell-surface PAR1 expression. Northern blot analysis (approximately 10-fold) and quantitative RT-PCR (approximately threefold) confirmed the upregulation of PAR3 mRNA expression (by 24 hours) in cells exposed to PMA. This did not occur with exposure to TPO. CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate increased expression of PAR3 mRNA and protein in HEL cells undergoing megakaryocytic maturation following PMA exposure, suggesting a developmental role for PAR3. Furthermore, regulation of PAR3 expression appears to be specifically coupled to the protein kinase C system, but independent of the Ras/Raf/MAP kinase pathway.[1]


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