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CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5273
ISSN (Online): 1996-3181

The Urokinase Receptor in the Central Nervous System

Author(s): Marco Archinti, Mishan Britto, Gabriele Eden, Federico Furlan, Ronan Murphy and Bernard Degryse

Volume 10, Issue 2, 2011

Page: [271 - 294] Pages: 24

DOI: 10.2174/187152711794480393

Price: $65


The urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a multifunctional glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein that regulates important processes such as gene expression, cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, invasion, and metastasis. uPAR is an essential component of the plasminogen activation cascade, a protease receptor that binds the urokinase-type plasminogen activator. uPAR is also an adhesionmodulating receptor, and a signalling receptor transmitting signals to the cell through lateral interactions with a wide array of membrane receptors. Altogether, the external ligands and membrane-bound partners of uPAR constitute a rich uPAR interactome. Recently, a new ligand of uPAR has been identified as the SRPX2 protein which is essential in language and cognitive development. SRPX2 is the second identified gene involved in language disorders. However, previous studies revealed cognitive disorders and defects in the development of the GABAergic interneurons in uPAR null mice. In addition, the expression of uPAR correlates with important human diseases such as epilepsy, autism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers, AIDS dementia, cerebral malaria, and brain tumours. Therefore, uPAR has unexpectedly become a significant receptor in the central nervous system and made a few steps into philosophy. Language is indeed intimately linked to human culture. This in-depth review presents the structure and the sequences of uPAR that are essential for drug design and the generation of new inhibitors. In addition, we summarize all the inhibitors of uPAR that have been created so far. Finally, we discuss the functions of uPAR in the development, functioning, and pathology of the central nervous system.

Keywords: Central nervous system, GABAergic neurons, cognitive functions, language, urokinase receptor, SRPX2, drug design, inhibitors

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