Regulation of the Gene Encoding Thrombin-Activable Fibrinolysis Inhibitor in Non-Hepatic Cells

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Lin, H-H Joellen
Platelets , Fibrinolysis , Megakaryocytes , Monocytes , TAFI , Inflammation
Thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) is a carboxypeptidase B-like pro-enzyme that, once activated, attenuates fibrinolysis. TAFIa also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Although liver is the main source of plasma TAFI, platelet-derived TAFI has also been reported. An alternatively spliced TAFI variant resulted from the skipping of exon 6 and a 52-base deletion in exon 10 of CPB2 mRNA (∆6+10) was described to be brain specific. This TAFI variant is reputed to possess a secretase-like activity that cleaves β-amyloid precursor protein to form β-amyloid, a process involved in the onset of Alzheimer's disease. In this thesis, we report the identification of CPB2 mRNA and TAFI protein in various vascular and inflammatory cells. Specifically, we describe the expression of CPB2 mRNA in the megakaryocytic cell lines MEG-01 and Dami, the monocytic cell line THP-1, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. TAFI protein was detected in differentiated Dami and THP-1 cells. We next describe the effect of external stimuli such as phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) on CPB2 expression in Dami and THP-1 cells. We found that PMA treatment increases both CPB2 mRNA abundance and promoter activity in Dami cells, and decreases both CPB2 mRNA abundance and promoter activity in THP-1 cells. Deletion analysis of the CPB2 promoter indicated cell-type specific regulation of CPB2 gene expression. Finally, we evaluated the expression of alternatively spliced CPB2 mRNA variants in hepatic and non hepatic cells. We found that exon 6 skipping variants are expressed in all cell types of interest. The variant previously reported to be brain specific was also found to be expressed in platelets. We found that the alternatively spliced TAFI variants accumulated inside the cells in a non-secretable, hypoglycosylated form and showed no carboxypeptidase activity. Taken together, this thesis provides further evidence supporting the hypothesis that platelet-derived TAFI is originated from CPB2 gene expression in megakaryocytes. Moreover, our data imply a potential for site-specific anti-inflammatory control provided by macrophage-derived TAFI. Alternative splicing of the CPB2 mRNA may give rise to variants with an intracellular role, perhaps as a peptidase chaperone, and may modulate the synthesis of secretable TAFI.
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