The urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) system is a dynamic extracellular protease system that regulates both proteolytic and non-proteolytic events associated with cancer progression. In earlier studies, we have demonstrated that radiation-induced cell adhesion was associated with uPAR expression and downregulation of uPAR effectively inhibited radiation-induced cell adhesion of medulloblastoma cells. Herein, we further investigated the impact of uPAR downregulation on plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1), a key regulator component of the uPA system, and its role in cell adhesion. With radiation treatment, the levels of uPAR and PAI-1 increased in D283 and UW228 cells. Surprisingly, knockdown of uPAR elevated the levels of PAI-1. The increase in PAI-1 levels in uPAR-knocked down cells was regulated by activation of cJUN/CREB signaling molecules. Moreover, studies show that the reduced interaction between uPAR and integrin α5β1 plays a critical role in PAI-1 release into the extracellular matrix, thereby enhancing the cell detachment process. Incubation of medulloblastoma cells with Tiplaxtinin-PAI-039, a potent PAI-1 activity inhibitor, increased the association of uPAR with integrin α5β1 and cell adhesion. Interestingly, prolonged inhibition of PAI-1 activity adversely affected cell viability; we were able to revert this effect by exogenously supplementing cells with recombinant PAI-1. Moreover r-PAI-1 showed no significant effect on cell adhesion whereas it increased the association of uPAR with integrin α5β1. Expression of full-length (FL) uPAR elevated uPA and PAI-1 levels both at the transcriptional and the translational levels. These increased PAI-1 levels play a pivotal role in regulating uPA activity by binding and translocating integrin α5β1 towards the uPA/uPAR complex. Taken together, the results of the present study lead us to conclude that levels of uPAR and integrin α5β1, and their association on the cell surface dictate the function of PAI-1 to maintain extracellular homeostasis.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 5187. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-5187