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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Cytokine-Inducing Activity of Family 2 Cystatins

T. Kato / T. Imatani / T. Miura / K. Minaguchi / E. Saitoh / K. Okuda

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 381, Issue 11, Pages 1143–1147, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2000.141, July 2005

Publication History

Published Online:


Cystatins are physiological cysteine proteinase inhibitors. Here we report a novel function for some family 2 cystatins that is not related to these activities. The release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) by the gingival fibroblasts and that of IL-6 by murine splenocytes were measured using ELISA systems specific for these cytokine molecules. Family 2 cystatins, including cystatins C, SA1, SA2, S, and egg white cystatin, upregulated the IL-6 production by two human gingival fibroblast cell lines or murine splenocytes and also the IL-8 production by gingival fibroblasts at physiological concentrations. After complete saturation with papain, those family 2 cystatins still upregulated IL-6 production, suggesting that the papain- inhibitory site was not involved in the cytokine-inducing activity.

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