Background and purpose: Up-regulation of proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR2) is a factor in a number of disease states and we have therefore examined the signalling pathways involved in the expression of the receptor.
Experimental approach: We investigated the effects of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), trypsin and the PAR2 activating peptide, 2-furoyl(2f)-LIGKV-OH on both mRNA and functional expression of PAR2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The effect of specific chemical inhibitors and dominant negative adenovirus constructs of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) signalling pathway was assessed. Methods included semi-quantitative and quantitative RT-PCR, [(3)H]inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation and Ca(2+)-dependent fluorescence.
Key results: The above agonists induced both mRNA and functional expression of PAR2; PAR4 mRNA, but not that for PAR1 or PAR-3, also increased following TNFalpha treatment. Inhibition of p38 MAP kinase reduced PAR2 and PAR4 expression, whilst inhibition of MEK1/ERK/JNK was without effect. A similar dependency upon p38 MAP kinase was observed for the expression of PAR4. TNFalpha -induced enhancement of PAR2 stimulated [(3)H]-inositol phosphate accumulation (IP) and Ca(2+) signalling was abolished following SB203580 pre-treatment. Infection with adenovirus encoding dominant-negative IKKbeta (Ad.IKKbeta(+/-)) and to a lesser extent dominant-negative IKKalpha (Ad.IKKalpha(+/-)), substantially reduced both control and IL-1beta- induced expression of both PAR2 and PAR4 mRNA and enhancement of PAR2-stimulated IP accumulation and Ca(2+) mobilisation.
Conclusions and implications: These data reveal for the first time the signalling events involved in the upregulation of both PAR2 and PAR4 during pro-inflammatory challenge.