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Trivendra Tripathi, Mahshid Abdi, Hassan Alizadeh; Protease-Activated Receptor 2 (PAR2) Is Upregulated by Acanthamoeba Plasminogen Activator (aPA) and Induces Proinflammatory Cytokine in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(6):3912-3921. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14486.
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Acanthamoeba plasminogen activator (aPA) is a serine protease elaborated by Acanthamoeba trophozoites that facilitates the invasion of trophozoites to the host and contributes to the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). The aim of this study was to explore if aPA stimulates proinflammatory cytokine in human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells via the protease-activated receptors (PARs) pathway.
Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites were grown in peptone-yeast extract glucose for 7 days, and the supernatants were collected and centrifuged. The aPA was purified using the fast protein liquid chromatography system, and aPA activity was determined by zymography assays. Human corneal epithelial cells were incubated with or without aPA (100 μg/mL), PAR1 agonists (thrombin, 10 μM; TRAP-6, 10 μM), and PAR2 agonists (SLIGRL-NH2, 100 μM; AC 55541, 10 μM) for 24 and 48 hours. Inhibition of PAR1 and PAR2 involved preincubating the HCE cells for 1 hour with the antagonist of PAR1 (SCH 79797, 60 μM) and PAR2 (FSLLRY-NH2, 100 μM) with or without aPA. Human corneal epithelial cells also were preincubated with PAR1 and PAR2 antagonists and then incubated with or without PAR1 agonists (thrombin and TRAP-6) and PAR2 agonists (SLIGRL-NH2 and AC 55541). Expression of PAR1 and PAR2 was examined by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), flow cytometry, and immunocytochemistry. Interleukin-8 expression was quantified by qRT-PCR and ELISA.
Human corneal epithelial cells constitutively expressed PAR1 and PAR2 mRNA. Acanthamoeba plasminogen activator and PAR2 agonists significantly upregulated PAR2 mRNA expression (1- and 2-fold, respectively) (P < 0.05). Protease-activated receptor 2 antagonist significantly inhibited aPA, and PAR2 agonists induced PAR2 mRNA expression in HCE cells (P < 0.05). Protease-activated receptor 1 agonists, but not aPA, significantly upregulated PAR1 mRNA expression, which was significantly inhibited by PAR1 antagonist in HCE cells. Acanthamoeba plasminogen activator and PAR2 agonists stimulated IL-8 mRNA expression and protein production, which is significantly diminished by PAR2 antagonist (P < 0.05). Protease-activated receptor 1 antagonist did not alter aPA-stimulated IL-8 mRNA expression and protein production in HCE cells. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry showed that aPA and SLIGRL-NH2 (PAR2 agonist) upregulated PAR2 surface protein as compared to that in unstimulated HCE cells. Thrombin, but not aPA, stimulated PAR1 surface protein in HCE cells.
Acanthamoeba plasminogen activator specifically induces expression and production of IL-8 in HCE cells via PAR2 pathway, and PAR2 antagonists may be used as a therapeutic target in AK.
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