Plasminogen activation (PA) is involved in a variety of extracellular proteolytic events, such as fibrinolysis, cell migration (e.g. angiogenesis, tumour cell invasion, inflammation, wound healing, bacterial invasion), ovulation, tissue remodelling and the activation of other protease classes and growth factors. These diverse roles are due to the specific localization of components of the PA system to extracellular matrices, basement membranes, fibrin and cell surfaces. We have previously reported that PA is dramatically elevated during cycloheximide (CHX)induced apoptosis in U937 cells due to a concomitant increase in both plasminogen receptors (PLG-R; i.e. specific PLG binding) and cell-surface urokinase plasminogen activator. We now extend this study by showing that the increase in PLG-R (resulting in an increase in specific PLG binding) is a late apoptotic event coincident with propidium iodide uptake and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation but occurring after elevations in phosphatidylserine exposure. Plasminogen was also observed to dramatically increase the rate of CHX-induced apoptosis. We conclude that PA may play a role in the degradative (i.e. late-stage) events of cellular apoptosis.
- Plasminogen receptors