Mesotrypsin, a brain trypsin, activates selectively proteinase-activated receptor-1, but not proteinase-activated receptor-2, in rat astrocytes

Yingfei Wang, Weibo Luo, Thomas Wartmann, Walter Halangk, Miklós Sahin-Tóth, Georg Reiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Proteinase-activated receptors (PARs), a subfamily of G protein-coupled receptors, which are activated by serine proteases, such as trypsin, play pivotal roles in the CNS. Mesotrypsin (trypsin IV) has been identified as a brain-specific trypsin isoform. However, its potential physiological role concerning PAR activation in the brain is largely unknown. Here, we show for the first time that mesotrypsin, encoded by the PRSS3 (proteinase, serine) gene, evokes a transient and pronounced Ca2+ mobilization in both primary rat astrocytes and retinal ganglion RGC-5 cells, suggesting a physiological role of mesotrypsin in brain cells. Mesotrypsin mediates Ca2+ responses in rat astrocytes in a concentration-dependent manner, with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) value of 25 nm. The maximal effect of mesotrypsin on Ca2+ mobilization in rat astrocytes is much higher than that observed in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells, indicating that the activity of mesotrypsin is species-specific. The pre-treatment of cells with thrombin or the PAR-1-specific peptide TRag (Ala-pFluoro-Phe-Arg-Cha-HomoArg- Tyr-NH2, synthetic thrombin receptor agonist peptide), but not the PAR-2-specific peptide, reduces significantly the mesotrypsin-induced Ca 2+ response. Treatment with the PAR-1 antagonist SCH79797 confirms that mesotrypsin selectively activates PAR-1 in rat astrocytes. Unlike mesotrypsin, the two other trypsin isoforms, cationic and anionic trypsin, activate multiple PARs in rat astrocytes. Therefore, our data suggest that brain-specific mesotrypsin, via the regulation of PAR-1, is likely to be involved in multiple physiological/pathological processes in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-769
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anionic trypsin
  • Calcium signaling
  • Cationic trypsin
  • Mesotrypsin
  • Proteinase-activated receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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