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RAGE: A Single Receptor for Several Ligands and Different Cellular Responses: The Case of Certain S100 Proteins

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 8 ]


Rosario Donato   Pages 711 - 724 ( 14 )


The S100 protein family comprises at least 25 members which, with the exception of S100G, act as Ca2+-sensor proteins that participate in Ca2+ signal transduction by interacting with target proteins thereby modifying their activities. S100 proteins are expressed in vertebrates exclusively, display a cell-specific distribution, and regulate a large variety of intracellular activities. Some S100 proteins are released by a nonclassical pathway and exert regulatory effects on several cell types. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) has been shown to transduce extracellular effects of S100B, S100A4, S100A6, S100A11, S100A12, S100A13 and S100P. However, some S100 proteins can signal by engaging RAGE as well as non- RAGE receptors. Immune cells (i.e., monocytes/macrophages/microglia, neutrophils and lymphocytes), activated endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, neurons, astrocytes, chondrocytes and pancreatic tumor cells are the cell types reported to respond to certain S100 proteins via RAGE engagement. In general, relatively high concentrations of S100 proteins are required for activation of RAGE in responsive cells. S100B is unique in that it can engage RAGE in neurons at low and high concentrations with trophic and toxic effects, respectively, and S100A4 stimulates matrix metalloproteinase 13 release from chondrocytes at nanomolar doses in a RAGE-mediated manner. Oligomerization of S100 proteins under the non-reducing, high-Ca2+ conditions found extracellularly appears to play a relevant role in RAGE activation, and binding of at least S100A12 and S100B results in RAGE oligomerization. Thus, S100/RAGE interactions might have important consequences during development and in tissue homeostasis as well as in inflammatory, degenerative and tumor processes.


Down syndrome, T-Lymphocytes, primary astrocyte, Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells, inflammatory response


Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia,Via Del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy.

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