Induction of p53 by urokinase in lung epithelial cells

Sreerama Shetty*, Margaret R. Gyetko, Andrew P. Mazar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) is a serine protease that catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin. The plasminogen/plasmin system includes the uPA, its receptor, and its inhibitor (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1). Interactions between these molecules regulate cellular proteolysis as well as adhesion, cellular proliferation, and migration, processes germane to the pathogenesis of lung injury and neoplasia. In previous studies, we found that uPA regulates cell surface fibrinolysis by regulating its own expression as well as that of the uPA receptor and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. In this study, we found that uPA alters expression of the tumor suppressor protein p53 in Beas2B airway epithelial cells in both a time- and concentration-dependent manner. These effects do not require uPA catalytic activity because the amino-terminal fragment of uPA lacking catalytic activity was as potent as two chain active uPA. Single chain uPA also enhanced p53 expression to the same extent as intact two chain active uPA and the amino-terminal fragment. Pretreatment of cells with anti-β1 integrin antibody blocked uPA-induced p53 expression. uPA-induced p53 expression occurs without increased p53 mRNA expression. However, uPA induced oncoprotein MDM2 in a concentration-dependent manner. uPA-induced p53 expression does not require activation of tyrosine kinases. Inactivation of protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2 inhibits both basal and uPA-induced p53 expression. Plasmin did not alter uPA-mediated p53 expression. The induction of p53 expression by exposure of lung epithelial cells to uPA is a newly recognized pathway by which urokinase may influence the proliferation of lung epithelial cells. This pathway could regulate pathophysiologic alterations of p53 expression in the setting of lung inflammation or neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28133-28141
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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