Protease-activated receptors (PAR1 and PAR2) contribute to tumor cell motility and metastasis.

The effects of the pleiotropic serine protease thrombin on tumor cells are commonly thought to be mediated by the thrombin receptor protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1). We demonstrate here that PAR1 activation has a role in experimental metastasis using the anti-PAR1 antibodies ATAP2 and WEDE15, which block PAR1 cleavage and activation. Thrombin also stimulates chemokinesis of human melanoma cells toward fibroblast conditioned media and soluble matrix proteins. Thrombin-enhanced migration is abolished by anti-PAR1 antibodies, demonstrating that PAR1 cleavage and activation are required. The PAR1-specific agonist peptide TFLLRNPNDK, however, does not stimulate migration, indicating that PAR1 activation is not sufficient. In contrast, a combination of TFLLRNPNDK and the PAR2 agonist peptide SLIGRL mimics the thrombin effect on migration, whereas PAR2 agonist alone has no effect. Agonist peptides for the thrombin receptors PAR3 and PAR4 used alone or with PAR1 agonist also have no effect. Similarly, activation of PAR1 and PAR2 also enhances chemokinesis of prostate cancer cells. Desensitization with PAR2 agonist abolishes thrombin-enhanced cell motility, demonstrating that thrombin acts through PAR2. PAR2 is cleaved by proteases with trypsin-like specificity but not by thrombin. Thrombin enhances migration in the presence of a cleavage-blocking anti-PAR2 antibody, suggesting that thrombin activates PAR2 indirectly and independent of receptor cleavage. Treatment of melanoma cells with trypsin or PAR2 agonist peptide enhances experimental metastasis. Together, these data confirm a role for PAR1 in migration and metastasis and demonstrate an unexpected role for PAR2 in thrombin-dependent tumor cell migration and in metastasis.
AuthorsXiaoli Shi, Beena Gangadharan, Lawrence F Brass, Wolfram Ruf, Barbara M Mueller
JournalMolecular cancer research : MCR (Mol Cancer Res) Vol. 2 Issue 7 Pg. 395-402 (Jul 2004) ISSN: 1541-7786 [Print] United States
PMID15280447 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Receptor, PAR-1
  • Receptor, PAR-2
  • Thrombin
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement (drug effects)
  • Humans
  • Melanoma (metabolism, pathology)
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Receptor, PAR-1 (agonists, antagonists & inhibitors, metabolism)
  • Receptor, PAR-2 (agonists, metabolism)
  • Thrombin (pharmacology)

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