Klin Onkol 2011; 24(6): 418-423. DOI: 10.14735/amko2011418.

Urokinase (uPA) plays an essential role in the activation of plasminogen to plasmin, a serine protease participating in the activation of matrixmetaloproteinases, latent elastases, growth factors and cytokines involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix elements. Together with its receptor (uPAR), tissue activator (tPA) and urokinase inhibitors (PAI-1, PAI-2, PAI-3 and protease nexin), it forms the plasminogen activator system (PAS), a component of metastatic cascade importantly contributing to the invasive growth and angiogenesis of malignant tumours. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 inhibits uPA-dependent invasiveness of some cancer cell lines. The vitronectin-PAI-1 complex inhibits migration of smooth muscle cells by binding αvβ3 integrin to vitronectin. PAI-1 or its deficiency interferes with signalling pathways such as PI3K/Akt and JAK/STAT and it is included in the processes of maintaining the integrity of the endothelial cells and thereby regulation of cell death. PAI-1 affects apoptosis by reducing cell adhesion and functioning of intracellular signalling pathways. The individual components of PAS undoubtedly play an important role in angiogenesis and metastasising of malignant tumours. In the near future, results of published studies with various types of cancer could be reflected in diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms and, at the same time, could serve as the goal for targeted therapies.


Full text in PDF