Tryptase Activation of Immortalized Human Urothelial Cell Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase

John O. Marentette, Paul J. Hauser, Robert E. Hurst, David J. Klumpp, Alice Rickard, Jane McHowat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) is multifactorial, but likely involves urothelial cell dysfunction and mast cell accumulation in the bladder wall. Activated mast cells in the bladder wall release several inflammatory mediators, including histamine and tryptase. We determined whether mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases are activated in response to tryptase stimulation of urothelial cells derived from human normal and IC/PBS bladders. Tryptase stimulation of normal urothelial cells resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2). A 5.5-fold increase in ERK 1/2 activity was observed in urothelial cells isolated from IC/PBS bladders. No significant change in p38 MAP kinase was observed in tryptase-stimulated normal urothelial cells but a 2.5-fold increase was observed in cells isolated from IC/PBS bladders. Inhibition of ERK 1/2 with PD98059 or inhibition of p38 MAP kinase with SB203580 did not block tryptase-stimulated iPLA2 activation. Incubation with the membrane phospholipid-derived PLA2 hydrolysis product lysoplasmenylcholine increased ERK 1/2 activity, suggesting the iPLA2 activation is upstream of ERK 1/2. Real time measurements of impedance to evaluate wound healing of cell cultures indicated increased healing rates in normal and IC/PBS urothelial cells in the presence of tryptase, with inhibition of ERK 1/2 significantly decreasing the wound healing rate of IC/PBS urothelium. We conclude that activation of ERK 1/2 in response to tryptase stimulation may facilitate wound healing or cell motility in areas of inflammation in the bladder associated with IC/PBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere69948
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 29 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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