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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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Expression and activity profiling of selected cysteine cathepsins and matrix metalloproteinases in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Urška Požgan1 / Dejan Caglič1 / Blaž Rozman2 / Hideaki Nagase3 / Vito Turk1 / Boris Turk1, 4

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Structural Biology, Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

2Department of Rheumatology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Vodnikova cesta 62, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

3Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Division, Imperial College London, London W6 8LH, UK

4Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Aškerčeva cesta 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 391, Issue 5, Pages 571–579, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/bc.2010.035, February 2010

Publication History

Published Online:


Cysteine cathepsins and matrix metalloproteases are considered to play important roles in the development of arthritic diseases. Their accumulation in synovial fluid of primarily rheumatoid arthritis patients is also well documented. However, a detailed comparison between the protease levels and activities between rheumatoid arthritis samples and osteoarthritis samples has never been made. Here, we report that both cysteine cathepsins B and S and matrix metalloproteases-1, -3 and -13 are detected in patient synovial fluid samples with significantly higher levels detected in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Among the proteases, cathepsin S was found to be significantly elevated, consistent with its critical role in the immune response. These results suggest that cysteine cathepsins have a major role in inflammation at least in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to proteases, interleukin-6 was detected at significant levels in most samples, suggesting that proinflammatory cytokines might be in-volved in the stimulation of expression of these proteases during inflammation.

Keywords: cysteine cathepsins; matrix metalloproteinases; osteoarthritis; proinflammatory cytokines; rheumatoid arthritis; synovial fluid

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