Kallikrein-related peptidase 4 (KLK4) initiates intracellular signaling via protease-activated receptors (PARs). KLK4 and PAR-2 are co-expressed during prostate cancer progression.J Biol Chem. 2008 May 02; 283(18):12293-304.JB
Kallikrein-related peptidase 4 (KLK4) is one of the 15 members of the human KLK family and a trypsin-like, prostate cancer-associated serine protease. Signaling initiated by trypsin-like serine proteases are transduced across the plasma membrane primarily by members of the protease-activated receptor (PAR) family of G protein-coupled receptors. Here we show, using Ca(2+) flux assays, that KLK4 signals via both PAR-1 and PAR-2 but not via PAR-4. Dose-response analysis over the enzyme concentration range 0.1-1000 nM indicated that KLK4-induced Ca(2+) mobilization via PAR-1 is more potent than via PAR-2, whereas KLK4 displayed greater efficacy via the latter PAR. We confirmed the specificity of KLK4 signaling via PAR-2 using in vitro protease cleavage assays and anti-phospho-ERK1/2/total ERK1/2 Western blot analysis of PAR-2-overexpressing and small interfering RNA-mediated receptor knockdown cell lines. Consistently, confocal microscopy analyses indicated that KLK4 initiates loss of PAR-2 from the cell surface and receptor internalization. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated the co-expression of agonist and PAR-2 in primary prostate cancer and bone metastases, suggesting that KLK4 signaling via this receptor will have pathological relevance. These data provide insight into KLK4-mediated cell signaling and suggest that signals induced by this enzyme via PARs may be important in prostate cancer.