Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) stimulates cell migration through multiple pathways, including formation of plasmin and extracellular metalloproteinases, and binding to the uPAR (uPA receptor; also known as CD87), integrins and LRP1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1) which activate intracellular signalling pathways. In the present paper we report that uPA-mediated cell migration requires an interaction with fibulin-5. uPA stimulates migration of wild-type MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts) (Fbln5+/+ MEFs), but has no effect on fibulin-5-deficient (Fbln5-/-) MEFs. Migration of MEFs in response to uPA requires an interaction of fibulin-5 with integrins, as MEFs expressing a mutant fibulin-5 incapable of binding integrins (Fbln(RGE/RGE) MEFs) do not migrate in response to uPA. Moreover, a blocking anti-(human β1-integrin) antibody inhibited the migration of PASMCs (pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells) in response to uPA. Binding of uPA to fibulin-5 generates plasmin, which excises the integrin-binding N-terminal cbEGF (Ca2+-binding epidermal growth factor)-like domain, leading to loss of β1-integrin binding. We suggest that uPA promotes cell migration by binding to fibulin-5, initiating its cleavage by plasmin, which leads to its dissociation from β1-integrin and thereby unblocks the capacity of integrin to facilitate cell motility.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem J

Publication Date





491 - 503


Animals, Cell Movement, Cells, Cultured, Extracellular Matrix Proteins, Humans, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Protein Binding, Recombinant Proteins, Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator