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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

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

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Insights into the Roles of Cathepsins in Antigen Processing and Presentation Revealed by Specific Inhibitors

N. Katunuma / Y. Matsunaga / K. Himeno / Y. Hayashi

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 384, Issue 6, Pages 883–890, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2003.099, June 2005

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Eleven human cathepsins have been identified, however, the in vivo roles of individual cathepsins are still largely unknown. In this brief review we will summarize the functions of individual cathepsins in antigen processing and presentation, which are the initial steps of the immune response. Two general inhibitors of papainlike cysteine proteases, E-64 and pyridoxal phosphate, can completely suppress antigen presentation in vivo. To evaluate the contribution of individual cathepsins, specific inhibitors have been developed based on cathepsin tertiary structures: CA-074 for cathepsin B, CLIK-148 and -195 for cathepsin L, CLIK-60 for cathepsin S. Administration of CA-074, a cathepsin B inhibitor, suppresses the response to exogenous antigens, such as hepatitis B virus antigen, ovalbumin and Leishmania major antigen, and induces switching of the helper T cell responses from Th-2 to Th-1 of CD4+ T cells, thereby downregulating the production of IgE and IgG1. Administration of the cathepsin S inhibitor CLIK-60 impairs presentation of an autoantigen, α-fodrin, in Sjogrens syndrome and suppresses the Th-1 response and autoantibody production.

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