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The PLAUR gene at 19q13.31 codes for the 337 amino acid pro-peptide of the heavily glycoslated urokinase plasminogen activator surface receptor (CD87). Its basic function is to control cell migration via the regulation of cell-surface plasminogen activation[1]. The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system, made up of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), the urokinase plasminogen activator surface receptor, and plasminogen-plasmin, is involved in the proteolytic degradation of the extracellular matrix and regulates key cellular events by activating intracellular signal pathways. Negative down regulation is possible by uPA as this also proteolytically degrades it's own receptor. Up regulation allows effective neutrophil response to some bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is expressed by neurons of the rolandic area of the brain and so may have other functions than just the regulation of cell migration.. Pathologically high expression occurs in glomeruli affected by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and diabetic nephropathy. However expression is also associated with metastatic disease, where loss of tight regulation is associated with poor prognosis[2]. Small molecule inhibitors of its function directed at its vitronectin binding site are being developed[3]. The soluble form (suPAR) is a potential marker for cardiovascular disease and heart failure.


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