Protease-activated receptors (PARs) belong to a family of G protein-coupled receptors activated by serine proteases via proteolytic cleavage. PARs are expressed on epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and leukocytes, indicating a role in controlling barrier function against external danger. During inflammation, microorganisms as well as host immune cells release various proteases activating PARs. Thus, PARs can be viewed as an integral component of the host antimicrobial alarm system. When stimulated, PARs regulate various functions of leukocytes in vivo and in vitro, revealing a novel pathway by which proteases affect innate immune responses. Understanding protease-immune interactions could lead to novel strategies for the treatment of infectious and immune-related diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy