The type 2 transmembrane serine protease matriptase is under tight control primarily by the actions of the integral membrane Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor HAI-1. Growing evidence indicates that HAI-2 might also be involved in matriptase inhibition in some contexts. Here we showed that matriptase inhibition by HAI-2 depends on the subcellular localizations of HAI-2, and is observed in breast cancer cells but not in mammary epithelial cells. HAI-2 is co-expressed with matriptase in 21 out of 26 human epithelial and carcinoma cells examined. HAI-2 is also a potent matriptase inhibitor in solution, but in spite of this, HAI-2 inhibition of matriptase is not observed in all contexts where HAI-2 is expressed, unlike what is seen for HAI-1. Induction of matriptase zymogen activation in mammary epithelial cells results in the formation of matriptase-HAI-1 complexes, but matriptase-HAI-2 complexes are not observed. In breast cancer cells, however, in addition to the appearance of matriptase-HAI-1 complex, three different matriptase-HAI-2 complexes, are formed following the induction of matriptase activation. Immunofluorescent staining reveals that activated matriptase is focused at the cell-cell junctions upon the induction of matriptase zymogen activation in both mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells. HAI-2, in contrast, remains localized in vesicle/granule-like structures during matriptase zymogen activation in human mammary epithelial cells. In breast cancer cells, however, a proportion of the HAI-2 reaches the cell surface where it can gain access to and inhibit active matriptase. Collectively, these data suggest that matriptase inhibition by HAI-2 requires the translocation of HAI-2 to the cell surface, a process which is observed in some breast cancer cells but not in mammary epithelial cells.
Chang, H. H. D., Xu, Y., Lai, H., Yang, X., Tseng, C. C., Lai, Y. J. J., … Lin, C. Y. (2015). Differential subcellular localization renders HAI-2 a matriptase inhibitor in breast cancer cells but not in mammary epithelial cells. PLoS ONE, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120489