The role of cystatins in cells of the immune system

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
FEBS Letters (Impact Factor: 3.34). 12/2006; 580(27):6295-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2006.10.055
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The cystatins constitute a large group of evolutionary related proteins with diverse biological activities. Initially, they were characterized as inhibitors of lysosomal cysteine proteases - cathepsins. Cathepsins are involved in processing and presentation of antigens, as well as several pathological conditions such as inflammation and cancer. Recently, alternative functions of cystatins have been proposed: they also induce tumour necrosis factor and interleukin 10 synthesis and stimulate nitric oxide production. The aim of the present review was the analysis of data on cystatins from NCBI GEO database and the literature, and obtained in microarray and serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) experiments. The expression of cystatins A, B, C, and F in macrophages, dendritic cells and natural killer cells of the immune system, during differentiation and activation is discussed.

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