PAR-2 triggers placenta-derived protease-induced altered VE-cadherin reorganization at endothelial junctions in preeclampsia.

PMID 22840244


PAR-2 is a G-protein coupled protease receptor whose activation in endothelial cells (ECs) is associated with increased solute permeability. VE-cadherin is an endothelial-specific junction protein, which exhibits a disorganized distribution at cell junction during inflammation and is a useful indicator of endothelial barrier dysfunction. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that PAR-2 activation mediates placenta-derived chymotrypsin-like protease (CLP)-induced endothelial junction disturbance and permeability in preeclampsia (PE). PAR-2 and VE-cadherin were examined by immunofluorescent staining. Specific CLP induced PAR-2 activation and altered VE-cadherin distribution was assessed following depletion of protease chymotrypsin in the placental conditioned medium and after PAR-2 siRNA. VE-cadherin assembly was determined by treating cells with protease chymotrypsin and/or the specific PAR-2 agonist SLIGKV-NH2. Our results showed: 1) placental conditioned medium not only disturbed VE-cadherin distribution at cell junctions but also activated PAR-2 in ECs; 2) PAR-2 siRNA blocked the placental conditioned medium induced PAR-2 upregulation and disorganization of VE-cadherin at cell junctions; 3) PAR-2 agonist induced PAR-2 activation and VE-cadherin reorganization were dose-dependent; and 4) PAR-2 agonist could stimulate ERK1/2 activation. These results strongly suggest that proteases produced by the placenta elicit endothelial barrier dysfunction via a PAR-2 signaling regulatory mechanism in PE.

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Chymase human, recombinant, expressed in Pichia pastoris