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PAI1 blocks NMDA receptor-mediated effects of tissue-type plasminogen activator on cell signaling and physiology

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The fibrinolysis proteinase tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA, also known as PLAT) triggers cell signaling and regulates cell physiology. In PC12 cells, Schwann cells and macrophages, the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) mediates tPA signaling. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI1, also known as SERPINE1) is a rapidly acting inhibitor of tPA enzyme activity. Although tPA-initiated cell signaling is not dependent on its enzyme active site, we show that tPA signaling is neutralized by PAI1. In PC12 cells, PAI1 blocked the ERK1/2 activation mediated by tPA as well as neurite outgrowth. In Schwann cells, PAI1 blocked tPA-mediated ERK1/2 activation and cell migration. In macrophages, PAI1 blocked the ability of tPA to inhibit IκBα phosphorylation and cytokine expression. The cell signaling activity of tPA-PAI1 complex was rescued when the complex was formed with PAI1R76E, which binds to LRP1 with decreased affinity, by pre-treating cells with the LRP1 antagonist receptor-associated protein and upon LRP1 gene silencing. The inhibitory role of LRP1 in tPA-PAI1 complex-initiated cell signaling was unanticipated given the reported role of LRP1 as an NMDA-R co-receptor in signaling responses elicited by free tPA or α2-macroglobulin. We conclude that PAI1 functions as an in-hibitor not only of the enzyme activity of tPA but also of tPA receptor-mediated activities.

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