Salmon trypsin stimulates the expression of interleukin-8 via protease-activated receptor-2

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In this study, we focus on salmon trypsin as an activator of inflammatory responses in airway cells in vitro. The rationale behind the investigation is that salmon industry workers are exposed to aerosols containing enzymes, which are generated during industrial processing of the fish. Knowing that serine proteases such as trypsin are highly active mediators with diverse biological activities, the stimulation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and interleukin (IL)-8 and the role of protease-activated receptors (PAR) in inflammatory signal mediation were investigated. Protease-activated receptors are considered important under pathological situations in the human airways, and a thorough understanding of PAR-induced cellular events and their consequences in airway inflammation is necessary. Human airway epithelial cells (A549) were exposed to trypsin isolated from fish (Salmo salar), and we observed that purified salmon trypsin could generate secretion of IL-8 in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PAR-2 activation by salmon trypsin is coupled to an induction of NF-κB-mediated transcription using a PAR-2 transfected HeLa cell model. Finally, we show that the release of IL-8 from A549 following stimulation with purified salmon trypsin is mediated through activation of PAR-2 using specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). The results presented suggest that salmon trypsin, via activation of PAR-2, might influence inflammation processes in the airways if inhaled in sufficient amounts.

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