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Plasminogen activator, urokinase
Protein PLAU PDB 1c5w.png
PDB rendering based on 1c5w.
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: PDBe, RCSB
External IDs OMIM191840 MGI97611 HomoloGene55670 ChEMBL: 3286 GeneCards: PLAU Gene
EC number
RNA expression pattern
PBB GE PLAU 205479 s at tn.png
PBB GE PLAU 211668 s at tn.png
More reference expression data
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 5328 18792
Ensembl ENSG00000122861 ENSMUSG00000021822
UniProt P00749 P06869
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_001145031 NM_008873
RefSeq (protein) NP_001138503 NP_032899
Location (UCSC) Chr 10:
73.91 – 73.92 Mb
Chr 14:
20.84 – 20.84 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]

Urokinase-type plasminogen activator is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the PLAU gene.[1]


This gene encodes a serine protease involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix and possibly tumor cell migration and proliferation. A specific polymorphism in this gene may be associated with late-onset Alzheimer disease and also with decreased affinity for fibrin-binding. The protein encoded by this gene converts plasminogen to plasmin by specific cleavage of an Arg-Val bond in plasminogen. This gene's proprotein is cleaved at a Lys-Ile bond by plasmin to form a two-chain derivative in which a single disulfide bond connects the amino-terminal A-chain to the catalytically active, carboxy-terminal B-chain. This two-chain derivative is also called HMW-uPA (high molecular weight uPA). HMW-uPA can be further processed into LMW-uPA (low molecular weight uPA) by cleavage of chain A into a short chain A (A1) and an amino-terminal fragment. LMW-uPA is proteolytically active but does not bind to the uPA receptor.[2]


PLAU has been shown to interact with Protein C inhibitor.[3][4]


  1. ^ Nagai M, Hiramatsu R, Kanéda T, Hayasuke N, Arimura H, Nishida M, Suyama T (Dec 1985). "Molecular cloning of cDNA coding for human preprourokinase". Gene 36 (1-2): 183–8. doi:10.1016/0378-1119(85)90084-8. PMID 2415429. 
  2. ^ "Entrez Gene: PLAU plasminogen activator, urokinase". 
  3. ^ Geiger M, Huber K, Wojta J, Stingl L, Espana F, Griffin JH, Binder BR (Aug 1989). "Complex formation between urokinase and plasma protein C inhibitor in vitro and in vivo". Blood 74 (2): 722–8. PMID 2752144. 
  4. ^ España F, Berrettini M, Griffin JH (Aug 1989). "Purification and characterization of plasma protein C inhibitor". Thromb. Res. 55 (3): 369–84. doi:10.1016/0049-3848(89)90069-8. PMID 2551064. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ploug M, Gårdsvoll H, Jørgensen TJ, Lønborg Hansen L, Danø K (2002). "Structural analysis of the interaction between urokinase-type plasminogen activator and its receptor: a potential target for anti-invasive cancer therapy.". Biochem. Soc. Trans. 30 (2): 177–83. doi:10.1042/BST0300177. PMID 12023847. 
  • Alfano M, Sidenius N, Blasi F, Poli G (2004). "The role of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)/uPA receptor in HIV-1 infection.". J. Leukoc. Biol. 74 (5): 750–6. doi:10.1189/jlb.0403176. PMID 12960238. 
  • Harbeck N, Kates RE, Gauger K, Willems A, Kiechle M, Magdolen V, Schmitt M (2004). "Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its inhibitor PAI-I: novel tumor-derived factors with a high prognostic and predictive impact in breast cancer.". Thromb. Haemost. 91 (3): 450–6. doi:10.1160/TH03-12-0798. PMID 14983219. 
  • Gilabert-Estelles J, Ramon LA, España F, Gilabert J, Castello R, Estelles A (2006). "Expression of the fibrinolytic components in endometriosis.". Pathophysiol. Haemost. Thromb. 35 (1-2): 136–40. doi:10.1159/000093556. PMID 16855359.