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Open Access Open Badges Research article

PAR1- and PAR2-induced innate immune markers are negatively regulated by PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in oral keratinocytes

Maryam G Rohani1, Dennis H DiJulio2, Jonathan Y An2, Beth M Hacker2, Beverly A Dale123 and Whasun O Chung12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine/Dermatology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195-6524, USA

2 Department of Oral Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195-7132, USA

3 Department of Periodontics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195-7444, USA

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BMC Immunology 2010, 11:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-11-53

Published: 28 October 2010



Protease-Activated Receptors (PARs), members of G-protein-coupled receptors, are activated by proteolytic activity of various proteases. Activation of PAR1 and PAR2 triggers innate immune responses in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs), but the signaling pathways downstream of PAR activation in HOKs have not been clearly defined. In this study, we aimed to determine if PAR1- and PAR2-mediated signaling differs in the induction of innate immune markers CXCL3, CXCL5 and CCL20 via ERK, p38 and PI3K/Akt.


Our data show the induction of innate immunity by PAR1 requires both p38 and ERK MAP kinases, while PAR2 prominently signals via p38. However, inhibition of PI3K enhances expression of innate immune markers predominantly via suppressing p38 phosphorylation signaled by PAR activation.


Our data indicate that proteases mediating PAR1 and PAR2 activation differentially signal via MAP kinase cascades. In addition, the production of chemokines induced by PAR1 and PAR2 is suppressed by PI3K/Akt, thus keeping the innate immune responses of HOK in balance. The results of our study provide a novel insight into signaling pathways involved in PAR activation.