Forty Years Later and the Role of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 2/SERPINB2 Is Still an Enigma
Plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-2 expression is acutely upregulated in pregnancy, inflammation, infection, and other pathophysiological conditions. Circumstances that prevent PAI-2 upregulation are associated with chronic pathology. Altogether this strongly suggests that PAI-2 is one of the many proteins that maintain homeostasis during damage or stress. However, several functions ranging from a classical serpin to various intracellular roles have been ascribed to PAI-2 and, because none of these have been definitively proven in vivo, to this day its precise role or roles remains an enigma. This review readdresses the evidence supporting a role for PAI-2 in fibrinolysis and proteolysis within extracellular environments and includes a review of the many potential intracellular functions attributed to PAI-2.