Expression of plasminogen activator enzymes in psoriatic epidermis

Elizabeth M. Spiers, Gerald S. Lazarus, Bernadette Lyons-Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The plasminogen activators, tissue type and urokinase type (tPA and uPA, respectively) have been identified in human skin under normal conditions and in various inflammatory dermatoses, including psoriasis. By Northern blot analyses, mRNA for uPA, but not for tPA, has been previously identified in epidermal extracts from normal skin, whereas in psoriasis, mRNA for tPA is readily detected. To further characterize uPA and tPA expression in psoriasis, the localization of uPA and tPA mRNAs was evaluated by in situ hybridization. Studies were conducted using lesional and nonlesional skin of patients with psoriasis as well as normal skin. Additionally, in situ zymography using casein gel overlays was utilized to assess enzymatic activity. In psoriatic lesional skin, both uPA and tPA mRNAs were demonstrated by in situ hybridization. Message for tPA was observed throughout the epidermis with areas of accentuation in the superficial stratum spinosum. Message for uPA was more focal and was localized primarily in the basal layer. Zymography showed tPA activity was coordinately increased in psoriatic lesions. Uninvolved skin of psoriatic patients was similar to that of normal skin with respect to expression of plasminogen activators. In normal epidermis, neither tPA nor uPA mRNA could be detected by in situ hybridization. Activity for uPA, but not tPA, was observed by zymography. These studies suggest that alterations in plasminogen activators expression may contribute to the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • in situ hybridization
  • proteases
  • zymography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of plasminogen activator enzymes in psoriatic epidermis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this