Signaling Properties and Functions of Two Distinct Cardiomyocyte Protease-Activated Receptors
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Abstract—Previous studies have established that cardiomyocytes express protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1, a high-affinity receptor for thrombin, which is also activated by the tethered-ligand domain sequence (SFLLRN) and which promotes inositol trisphosphate accumulation, stimulates extracellular signal–regulated protein kinase, and modulates contractile function. A single previous report identified PAR-1 as a hypertrophic stimulus, but there have been no subsequent investigations of the mechanism. This study reveals the coexpression of PAR-1 and PAR-2 (a second PAR, which is activated by trypsin/tryptase but not thrombin) by Northern blot analysis and compares their signaling properties in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes. SFLLRN and SLIGRL (an agonist peptide for PAR-2) promote inositol trisphosphate accumulation, stimulate mitogen-activated protein kinases (extracellular signal–regulated protein kinase and p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase), elevate calcium concentration, and increase spontaneous automaticity. SFLLRN (but not SLIGRL) also activates c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and AKT. In keeping with their linkage to pathways that have been associated with growth and/or survival, SFLLRN and SLIGRL both induce hypertrophy. However, PAR agonists promote cell elongation, a morphology that is distinct from the uniform increase in cell dimension induced by α1-adrenergic receptor activation. These studies provide novel evidence that cardiomyocytes coexpress 2 functional PARs, which link to a common set of signals that culminate in changes in contractile function and hypertrophic growth. PAR actions may assume clinical importance in the border zone surrounding an infarction, where local proteolysis of PARs by serine proteases generated during inflammatory or thrombogenic pathways would elevate calcium concentration (setting the stage for arrhythmias), promote hypertrophic growth, and/or influence cardiomyocyte survival.
- Received November 24, 1999.
- Accepted March 30, 2000.
- © 2000 American Heart Association, Inc.