Characterization and Functions of Protease-Activated Receptor 2 in Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Biomed Res Int. 2016:2016:3130496. doi: 10.1155/2016/3130496. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) is a cell surface receptor activated by serine proteinases or specific synthetic compounds. Interest in PAR2 as a pharmaceutical target for various diseases is increasing. Here we asked two questions relevant to endothelial dysfunction and diabetes: How is PAR2 function affected in blood vessels? What role does PAR2 have in promoting obesity, diabetes, and/or metabolic syndrome, specifically via the endothelium and adipose tissues? We conducted a systematic review of the published literature in PubMed and Scopus (July 2015; search terms: par2, par-2, f2lr1, adipose, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome). Seven studies focused on PAR2 and vascular function. The obesity, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome animal models differed amongst studies, but each reported that PAR2-mediated vasodilator actions were preserved in the face of endothelial dysfunction. The remaining studies focused on nonvascular functions and provided evidence supporting the concept that PAR2 activation promoted obesity. Key studies showed that PAR2 activation regulated cellular metabolism, and PAR2 antagonists inhibited adipose gain and metabolic dysfunction in rats. We conclude that PAR2 antagonists for treatment of obesity indeed show early promise as a therapeutic strategy; however, endothelial-specific PAR2 functions, which may offset mechanisms that produce vascular dysfunction in diabetes, warrant additional study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Endothelium / metabolism*
  • Endothelium / pathology
  • Endothelium / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / pathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Receptor, PAR-2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, PAR-2 / metabolism*


  • Receptor, PAR-2