Role of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-associated protein in mouse lung

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Feb;46(2):233-9. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0485OC. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-associated protein (uPARAP, or Endo180) is a transmembrane endocytic receptor that mediates collagen internalization and degradation. uPARAP may be a novel pathway for collagen turnover and matrix remodeling in the lung. The function of uPARAP in lung injury has not been described. We analyzed the pulmonary mechanics of uPARAP(-/-) and wild-type mice at baseline and examined their response after bleomycin instillation. We compared collagen internalization in primary mouse lung fibroblasts (MLFs) from wild-type and uPARAP(-/-) mice using flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy, and we examined the role of cytokines in regulating uPARAP expression and collagen internalization. We show that uPARAP is highly expressed in the lung, and that uPARAP(-/-) mice have increased lung elastance at baseline and after injury. uPARAP(-/-) mice are protected from changes in lung permeability after acute lung injury and have increased collagen content after bleomycin injury. uPARAP is the primary pathway for internalization of collagens in MLFs. Furthermore, collagen internalization through uPARAP does not require matrix metalloproteinase digestion and is independent of integrins. Mediators of lung injury, including transforming growth factor-β, TNF-α, and IL-1, down-regulate both uPARAP expression and collagen internalization. uPARAP is highly expressed in the murine lung, and loss of uPARAP leads to differences in lung mechanics, lung permeability, and collagen content after injury. uPARAP is required for collagen internalization by MLFs. Thus, uPARAP is a novel pathway that regulates matrix remodeling in the lung after injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Down-Regulation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / genetics
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator