FSAP Protects against Histone-Mediated Increase in Endothelial Permeability In Vitro

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Nov 8;23(22):13706. doi: 10.3390/ijms232213706.


Factor-VII-activating protease (FSAP) is involved in the regulation of hemostasis and inflammation. Extracellular histones play a role in inflammation and the conversion of latent pro-FSAP into active FSAP. FSAP has been shown to regulate endothelial permeability, but the mechanisms are not clear. Here, we have investigated the effects of FSAP on endothelial permeability in vitro. A mixture of histones from calf thymus stimulated permeability, and the wild-type (WT) serine protease domain (SPD) of FSAP blocked this effect. WT-SPD-FSAP did not influence permeability on its own, nor that stimulated by thrombin or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A165. Histones induced a large-scale rearrangement of the junction proteins VE-cadherin and zona occludens-1 from a clear junctional distribution to a diffuse pattern. The presence of WT-SPD-FSAP inhibited these changes. Permeability changes by histones were blocked by both TLR-2 and TLR4 blocking antibodies. Histones upregulated the expression of TLR-2, but not TLR-4, in HUVEC cells, and WT-SPD-FSAP abolished the upregulation of TLR-2 expression. An inactive variant, Marburg I (MI)-SPD-FSAP, did not have any of these effects. The inhibition of histone-mediated permeability may be an important function of FSAP with relevance to sepsis, trauma, and stroke and the need to be investigated further in in vivo experiments.

Keywords: FSAP; TLR; endothelium; histone; permeability.

MeSH terms

  • Histones*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Permeability
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A* / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • HABP2 protein, human