Using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) as an in vitro model for how African trypanosomes cross the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) we recently reported that the parasites cross the BBB by generating calcium activation signals in HBMECs through the activity of parasite cysteine proteases, particularly cathepsin L (brucipain). In the current study, we examined the possible role of a class of protease stimulated HBMEC G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) known as protease activated receptors (PARs) that might be implicated in calcium signaling by African trypanosomes.
Grab, D. J., Garcia-Garcia, J. C., Nikolskaia, O. V., Kim, Y. V., Brown, A., Pardo, C. A., … Dumler, J. S. (2009). Protease activated receptor signaling is required for African trypanosome traversal of human brain microvascular endothelial cells. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 3(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000479