Protease-activated receptor 2 activates CRAC-mediated Ca2+ influx to cause prostate smooth muscle contraction

Madhumita Paul, Stephen F. Murphy, Christel Hall, Anthony J. Schaeffer, Praveen Thumbikat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) is a G-protein-coupled receptor that contributes to prostate fibrosis and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). In addition to fibrosis, aberrant smooth muscle tone in the prostate has been hypothesized to play a role. We therefore examined PAR2 expression in primary human prostate smooth muscle cells (PSMC) and studied the downstream signaling effects of PAR2 activation. Signaling pathways involved in the process were assessed using the PAR2 activating peptide SLIGKV-NH2. We show that PAR2 is expressed in PSMC and that PAR2 activation mediates a biphasic elevation in intracellular Ca2+ and phosphorylation of myosin light chain 20 (MLC20), causing cellular contraction as assessed in a gel contraction assay. Intracellular Ca2+ flux was inhibited by a phosphoinositide hydrolysis inhibitor, U73122, showing a requirement for phospholipase C β (PLCβ) activation. PSMC expressed mRNA for L-type voltage dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCC) as well as Ca2+ release activated channels (CRAC), a hitherto unreported finding. Secondary intracellular Ca2+ oscillations were abrogated only by BTP2, the CRAC channel inhibitor, but not by nifedipine, an inhibitor of VDCC. These data suggest that, PAR2 activation and subsequent Ca2+ entry through CRAC channels are important mechanisms in prostate smooth muscle contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB BioAdvances
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • G-protein coupled receptor
  • PAR2
  • calcium channels
  • phospholipase
  • prostate
  • smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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