Living reference work entry
The plasminogen-activating system (PAS) consists of two immunologically distinct serine proteases, the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and the tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA); their specific inhibitors, the plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and 2 (PAI-2) and the protease nexin-1 (PN-1), which belong to the serine protease inhibitor superfamily of serpins; and the glycolipid-anchored cell membrane receptor for the uPA. The two plasminogen activators convert, in the extracellular environment, the proenzyme plasminogen into the serine protease plasmin. The latter is involved in fibrin degradation during clot lysis and in a number of physiological and pathological processes requiring basement membrane (BM) and/or extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, such as wound healing, mammary gland development and its postlactational involution, tissue regeneration, angiogenesis, tumor progression, and metastasization (Fig. 1). Besides fibrin, in fact, plasmin may...
KeywordsHepatocyte Growth Factor uPAR Expression Human Epidermoid Carcinoma Cell Line Serine Protease Plasmin Postlactational Involution
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