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The small-GTPase RalA activates transcription of the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) gene via an AP1-dependent mechanism

Lookup NU author(s): Emel Okan


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The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) focuses extracellular protease activity to the cell surface, modulates cell adhesion and activates intracellular signal transduction pathways. In a range of cancers uPAR expression often has a negative correlation with prognosis. Here we show that uPAR transcription is stimulated by V12 H-Ras, the effector loop mutant V12 H-Ras G37 and constitutively-active RalA 72L. RalA-dependent transcription required the presence of the ATF2-like AP1-site at -70 bp and the c-Jun binding motif at -184 bp in the uPAR promoter. Consistent with this, both Gal4-c-Jun- and Gal4-ATF2-fusion proteins were activated by RalA signalling through phosphorylation of their activation domains at Ser63 and Ser73 of c-Jun or Thr69 and Thr71 of ATF2. A transdominant inhibitory mutant of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) failed to inhibit uPAR transcription demonstrating that JNK activation is not a prerequisite for RalA-dependent uPAR transcription. A dominant negative inhibitor of c-Src effectively inhibited RalA-dependent uPAR transcription identifying it as a downstream effector in the RalA signalling pathway. These data provide evidence for the existence of a novel signalling pathway that links RalA to the activation of uPAR transcription via a c-Src intermediate and activation of AP1.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Okan E; Drewett V; Shaw PE; Jones P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Oncogene

Year: 2001

Volume: 20

Issue: 15

Pages: 1816-1824

ISSN (print): 0950-9232

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5594

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1204260


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