Kallikrein-related peptidase 4 activation of protease-activated receptor family members and association with prostate cancer

Ramsay, Andrew John (2008) Kallikrein-related peptidase 4 activation of protease-activated receptor family members and association with prostate cancer. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Two areas of particular importance in prostate cancer progression are primary tumour development and metastasis. These processes involve a number of physiological events, the mediators of which are still being discovered and characterised. Serine proteases have been shown to play a major role in cancer invasion and metastasis. The recently discovered phenomenon of their activation of a receptor family known as the protease activated receptors (PARs) has extended their physiological role to that of signaling molecule. Several serine proteases are expressed by malignant prostate cancer cells, including members of the kallikreinrelated peptidase (KLK) serine protease family, and increasingly these are being shown to be associated with prostate cancer progression. KLK4 is highly expressed in the prostate and expression levels increase during prostate cancer progression. Critically, recent studies have implicated KLK4 in processes associated with cancer. For example, the ectopic over-expression of KLK4 in prostate cancer cell lines results in an increased ability of these cells to form colonies, proliferate and migrate. In addition, it has been demonstrated that KLK4 is a potential mediator of cellular interactions between prostate cancer cells and osteoblasts (bone forming cells). The ability of KLK4 to influence cellular behaviour is believed to be through the selective cleavage of specific substrates. Identification of relevant in vivo substrates of KLK4 is critical to understanding the pathophysiological roles of this enzyme. Significantly, recent reports have demonstrated that several members of the KLK family are able to activate PARs. The PARs are relatively new members of the seven transmembrane domain containing G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family. PARs are activated through proteolytic cleavage of their N-terminus by serine proteases, the resulting nascent N-terminal binds intramolecularly to initiate receptor activation. PARs are involved in a number of patho-physiological processes, including vascular repair and inflammation, and a growing body of evidence suggests roles in cancer. While expression of PAR family members has been documented in several types of cancers, including prostate, the role of these GPCRs in prostate cancer development and progression is yet to be examined. Interestingly, several studies have suggested potential roles in cellular invasion through the induction of cytoskeletal reorganisation and expression of basement membrane-degrading enzymes. Accordingly, this program of research focussed on the activation of the PARs by the prostate cancer associated enzyme KLK4, cellular processing of activated PARs and the expression pattern of receptor and agonist in prostate cancer. For these studies KLK4 was purified from the conditioned media of stably transfected Sf9 insect cells expressing a construct containing the complete human KLK4 coding sequence in frame with a V5 epitope and poly-histidine encoding sequences. The first aspect of this study was the further characterisation of this recombinant zymogen form of KLK4. The recombinant KLK4 zymogen was demonstrated to be activatable by the metalloendopeptidase thermolysin and amino terminal sequencing indicated that thermolysin activated KLK4 had the predicted N-terminus of mature active KLK4 (31IINED). Critically, removal of the pro-region successfully generated a catalytically active enzyme, with comparable activity to a previously published recombinant KLK4 produced from S2 insect cells. The second aspect of this study was the activation of the PARs by KLK4 and the initiation of signal transduction. This study demonstrated that KLK4 can activate PAR-1 and PAR-2 to mobilise intracellular Ca2+, but failed to activate PAR-4. Further, KLK4 activated PAR-1 and PAR-2 over distinct concentration ranges, with KLK4 activation and mobilisation of Ca2+ demonstrating higher efficacy through PAR-2. Thus, the remainder of this study focussed on PAR-2. KLK4 was demonstrated to directly cleave a synthetic peptide that mimicked the PAR-2 Nterminal activation sequence. Further, KLK4 mediated Ca2+ mobilisation through PAR-2 was accompanied by the initiation of the extra-cellular regulated kinase (ERK) cascade. The specificity of intracellular signaling mediated through PAR-2 by KLK4 activation was demonstrated by siRNA mediated protein depletion, with a reduction in PAR-2 protein levels correlating to a reduction in KLK4 mediated Ca2+mobilisation and ERK phosphorylation. The third aspect of this study examined cellular processing of KLK4 activated PAR- 2 in a prostate cancer cell line. PAR-2 was demonstrated to be expressed by five prostate derived cell lines including the prostate cancer cell line PC-3. It was also demonstrated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy analyses that activation of PC-3 cell surface PAR-2 by KLK4 leads to internalisation of this receptor in a time dependent manner. Critically, in vivo relevance of the interaction between KLK4 and PAR-2 was established by the observation of the co-expression of receptor and agonist in primary prostate cancer and prostate cancer bone lesion samples by immunohistochemical analysis. Based on the results of this study a number of exciting future studies have been proposed, including, delineating differences in KLK4 cellular signaling via PAR-1 and PAR-2 and the role of PAR-1 and PAR-2 activation by KLK4 in prostate cancer cells and bone cells in prostate cancer progression.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

667 since deposited on 21 Jan 2010
28 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 29886
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Clements, Judith & Hooper, John
Keywords: prostate cancer, prostate cancer progression, bone metastasis, protease activated receptor (PAR), g protein coupled receptor (GPCR), kallikrein-related peptidase (KLK), serine protease, signal transduction, internalisation
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2010 04:18
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:54

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page