Kallikrein 6 is a novel molecular trigger of reactive astrogliosis

Isobel A. Scarisbrick, Maja Radulovic, Joshua E. Burda, Nadya Larson, Sachiko I. Blaber, Caterina Giannini, Michael Blaber, Alexander G. Vandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a trypsin-like serine protease upregulated at sites of central nervous system (CNS) injury, including de novo expression by reactive astrocytes, yet its physiological actions are largely undefined. Taken with recent evidence that KLK6 activates G-protein-coupled protease- activated receptors (PARs), we hypothesized that injuryinduced elevations in KLK6 contribute to the development of astrogliosis and that this occurs in a PAR-dependent fashion. Using primary murine astrocytes and the Neu7 astrocyte cell line, we show that KLK6 causes astrocytes to transform from an epitheliod to a stellate morphology and to secrete interleukin 6 (IL-6). By contrast, KLK6 reduced expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The stellation-promoting activities of KLK6 were shown to be dependent on activation of the thrombin receptor, PAR1, as a PAR1-specific inhibitor, SCH79797, blocked KLK6-induced morphological changes. The ability of KLK6 to promote astrocyte stellation was also shown to be linked to activation of protein kinase C (PKC). These studies indicate that KLK6 is positioned to serve as a molecular trigger of select physiological processes involved in the development of astrogliosis and that this is likely to occur at least in part by activation of the G-protein-coupled receptor, PAR1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Astrocyte
  • GFAP
  • Glioblastoma
  • IL-6
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Protease-activated receptor
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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