The Journal of biological chemistry

Urokinase receptor is associated with the components of the JAK1/STAT1 signaling pathway and leads to activation of this pathway upon receptor clustering in the human kidney epithelial tumor cell line TCL-598.

PMID 9353320


The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) binds to cells via a specific receptor attached to the plasma membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Despite the lack of a transmembrane domain, the urokinase receptor (uPAR) is capable of transducing extracellular signals affecting growth, migration, and adhesion. Several Tyr kinases of the src family as well as beta1, beta2, and beta3 integrins were found to be associated with the uPAR. We found that in the human kidney epithelial line TCL-598, also components of the JAK1/STAT1 signal transduction pathway including gp130, are associated with uPAR as revealed by coimmunoprecipitation and are co-localized in caveolae. Upon clustering of uPA.uPAR complex by a monoclonal antibody, JAK1 associates with uPAR, which in turn leads to STAT1 phosphorylation, dimerization, specific binding to DNA, and gene activation. To prove the dependence of STAT1 activation on the uPAR, TCL-598 cells were treated with sense and antisense uPAR oligonucleotides. In antisense-treated cells in which uPAR expression was reduced to less then one third, activation of STAT1 by the clustering antibody was abolished while STAT1 activation by interferon-gamma was unaffected. Therefore, in this cell line, uPA.uPAR also utilizes the JAK1/STAT1 pathway for signaling, and gp130 might be the transmembrane adapter for this signal transduction pathway.