uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) stimulates cell migration through multiple pathways, including formation of plasmin and extracellular metalloproteinases, and binding to the uPAR (uPA receptor; also known as CD87), integrins and LRP1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1) which activate intracellular signalling pathways. In the present paper we report that uPA-mediated cell migration requires an interaction with fibulin-5. uPA stimulates migration of wild-type MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts) (Fbln5 +/+ MEFs), but has no effect on fibulin-5-deficient (Fbln5 -/-) MEFs. Migration of MEFs in response to uPA requires an interaction of fibulin-5 with integrins, as MEFs expressing a mutant fibulin-5 incapable of binding integrins (Fbln RGE/RGE MEFs) do not migrate in response to uPA. Moreover, a blocking anti-(human β1-integrin) antibody inhibited the migration of PASMCs (pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells) in response to uPA. Binding of uPA to fibulin-5 generates plasmin, which excises the integrin-binding N-terminal cbEGF (Ca 2+-binding epidermal growth factor)-like domain, leading to loss of β1-integrin binding. We suggest that uPA promotes cell migration by binding to fibulin-5, initiating its cleavage by plasmin, which leads to its dissociation from β1-integrin and thereby unblocks the capacity of integrin to facilitate cell motility.
- Vascular pathology