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: 3.17). 12/2006; 580(27):6295-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2006.10.055
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Nataša Kopitar-Jerala, Nov 19, 2014
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    • "Cystatin A can also induce synthesis of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 10, and stimulate nitric oxide production [41]. Therefore , Cystatin A may be able to change its expression level in certain pathologies and could play a diagnostic role. "
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    • "The cystatins are endogenous, reversible and tight-binding inhibitors of the papain (C1) and legumain (C13) families of the cysteine proteases and have significant similarities in the amino acid sequence and in the protein structure [1] [2]. Stefin B (cystatin B) is an endogenous cysteine cathepsin inhibitor localized in the cytosol and nucleus, where it interacts with histones and cathepsin L [3]. "
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    • "Recently, accumulating evidence has shown that CF expression is observed in a variety of tissues, and particularly high in the cells and tissues of the immune system, such as the thymus and spleen, monocytes, dendritic cells, T-cells and NK cells, etc [19], [31]. However, little is known about the expression of CF in the central nervous system. "
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