TitleMechanisms of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)-mediated atherosclerosis: role of the uPA receptor and S100A8/A9 proteins.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFarris, SD, Hu, JHong, Krishnan, R, Emery, I, Chu, T, Du, L, Kremen, M, Dichek, HL, Gold, E, Ramsey, SA, Dichek, DA
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2011 Jun 24
KeywordsAnimals, Aorta, Apolipoprotein A-I, Atherosclerosis, Calgranulin A, Calgranulin B, Coronary Artery Disease, Female, Humans, Lipid Metabolism, Macrophages, Mice, Protein Interaction Mapping, Receptors, Scavenger, Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator, RNA, Messenger, Time Factors, Transcription, Genetic, Transgenes, Up-Regulation, Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator, Vasodilation

Data from clinical studies, cell culture, and animal models implicate the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)/uPA receptor (uPAR)/plasminogen system in the development of atherosclerosis and aneurysms. However, the mechanisms through which uPA/uPAR/plasminogen stimulate these diseases are not yet defined. We used genetically modified, atherosclerosis-prone mice, including mice with macrophage-specific uPA overexpression and mice genetically deficient in uPAR to elucidate mechanisms of uPA/uPAR/plasminogen-accelerated atherosclerosis and aneurysm formation. We found that macrophage-specific uPA overexpression accelerates atherosclerosis and causes aortic root dilation in fat-fed Ldlr(-/-) mice (as we previously reported in Apoe(-/-) mice). Macrophage-expressed uPA accelerates atherosclerosis by stimulation of lesion progression rather than initiation and causes disproportionate lipid accumulation in early lesions. uPA-accelerated atherosclerosis and aortic dilation are largely, if not completely, independent of uPAR. In the absence of uPA overexpression, however, uPAR contributes modestly to both atherosclerosis and aortic dilation. Microarray studies identified S100A8 and S100A9 mRNA as the most highly up-regulated transcripts in uPA-overexpressing macrophages; up-regulation of S100A9 protein in uPA-overexpressing macrophages was confirmed by Western blotting. S100A8/A9, which are atherogenic in mice and are expressed in human atherosclerotic plaques, are also up-regulated in the aortae of mice with uPA-overexpressing macrophages, and macrophage S100A9 mRNA is up-regulated by exposure of wild-type macrophages to medium from uPA-overexpressing macrophages. Macrophage microarray data suggest significant effects of uPA overexpression on cell migration and cell-matrix interactions. Our results confirm in a second animal model that macrophage-expressed uPA stimulates atherosclerosis and aortic dilation. They also reveal uPAR independence of these actions and implicate specific pathways in uPA/Plg-accelerated atherosclerosis and aneurysmal disease.

Alternate JournalJ Biol Chem
PubMed ID21536666
PubMed Central IDPMC3121410
Grant ListK25 HL098807-02 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
T32HL07828 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
/ / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States
R01HL080597 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
K25HL098807 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
K25 HL098807 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL080597 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States