Human pathology

Protease-activated receptor 2 modulates proliferation and invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells.

PMID 25912757


Based on our previous finding that protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2) regulates hemophagocytosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells, which induces their heme oxygenase 1-dependent keratinization, we have formulated a hypothesis that PAR-2 functions in wider activities of SCC cells. To confirm this hypothesis, we investigated immunohistochemical profiles of PAR-2 in oral SCC tissues and its functional roles in cell proliferation and invasion in SCC cells in culture. The PAR-2 expression modes were determined in 48 surgical tissue specimens of oral SCC. Using oral SCC-derived cell systems, we determined both gene and protein expression levels of PAR-2. SCC cell proliferation and invasive properties were also examined in conditions in which PAR-2 was activated by the synthetic peptide SLIGRL. PAR-2 was immunolocalized in oral SCC and carcinoma in situ cells, especially in those on the periphery of carcinoma cell foci (100% of cases), but not in normal oral epithelia. Its expression at both gene and protein levels was confirmed in 3 oral SCC cell lines including ZK-1. Activation of PAR-2 induced ZK-1 cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. PAR-2-activated ZK-1 cells invaded faster than nonactivated ones. The expression of PAR-2 is specific to oral malignancies, and PAR-2 regulates the growth and invasion of oral SCC cells.