[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysosomal cysteine cathepsins contribute to proteolytic events promoting tumor growth and metastasis. Their enzymatic activity, however, is tightly regulated by endogenous inhibitors. To investigate the role of cathepsin inhibitor stefin B (Stfb) in mammary cancer, Stfb null mice were crossed with transgenic polyoma virus middle T oncogene (PyMT) breast cancer mice. We show that ablation of Stfb resulted in reduced size of mammary tumors but did not affect their rate of metastasis. Importantly, decrease in tumor growth was correlated with an increased incidence of dead cell islands detected in tumors of Stfb-deficient mice. Ex vivo analysis of primary PyMT tumor cells revealed no significant effects of ablation of Stfb expression on proliferation, angiogenesis, migration and spontaneous cell death as compared with control cells. However, upon treatment with the lysosomotropic agent Leu-Leu-OMe, cancer cells lacking Stfb exhibited a significantly higher sensitivity to apoptosis. Moreover, Stfb-ablated tumor cells were significantly more prone to cell death under increased oxidative stress. These results indicate an in vivo role for Stfb in protecting cancer cells by promoting their resistance to oxidative stress and to apoptosis induced through the lysosomal pathway.Oncogene advance online publication, 19 August 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.314.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sigma-2 receptor agonist siramesine has been shown to trigger cell death of cancer cells and to exhibit a potent anticancer activity in vivo. However, its mechanism of action is still poorly understood. We show that siramesine can induce rapid cell death in a number of cell lines at concentrations above 20 μM. In HaCaT cells, cell death was accompanied by caspase activation, rapid loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), cytochrome c release, cardiolipin peroxidation and typical apoptotic morphology, whereas in U-87MG cells most apoptotic hallmarks were not notable, although MMP was rapidly lost. In contrast to the rapid loss of MMP above 20 μM siramesine, a rapid increase in lysosomal pH was observed at all concentrations tested (5-40 μM); however, it was not accompanied by lysosomal membrane permeabilisation (LMP) and the release of lysosomal enzymes into the cytosol. Increased lysosomal pH reduced the lysosomal degradation potential as indicated by the accumulation of immature forms of cysteine cathepsins. The lipophilic antioxidant α-tocopherol, but not the hydrophilic antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine, considerably reduced cell death and destabilisation of mitochondrial membranes, but did not prevent the increase in lysosomal pH. At concentrations below 15 μM, siramesine triggered cell death after 2 days or later, which seems to be associated with a general metabolic and energy imbalance due to defects in the endocytic pathway, intracellular trafficking and energy production, and not by a specific molecular event. Overall, we show that cell death in siramesine-treated cells is induced by destabilisation of mitochondria and is independent of LMP and the release of cathepsins into the cytosol. Moreover, it is unlikely that siramesine acts exclusively through sigma-2 receptors, but rather through multiple molecular targets inside the cell. Our findings are therefore of significant importance in designing the next generation of siramesine analogues with high anticancer potential.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2013; 4:e818. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major feature of apoptotic cell death is gross structural changes, one of which is the loss of cell-cell contacts. The caspases, executioners of apoptosis, were shown to cleave several proteins involved in the formation of cell junctions. The membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs), which are typically associated with cell junctions, have a major role in the organization of protein-protein complexes at plasma membranes and are therefore potentially important caspase targets during apoptosis. We report here that MAGUKs are cleaved and/or degraded by executioner caspases, granzyme B and several cysteine cathepsins in vitro. When apoptosis was induced by UV-irradiation and staurosporine in different epithelial cell lines, caspases were found to efficiently cleave MAGUKs in these cell models, as the cleavages could be prevented by a pan-caspase inhibitor N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp(OMe)fluoromethylketone. Using a selective lysosomal disrupting agent L-leucyl-L-leucine methyl ester, which induces apoptosis through the lysosomal pathway, it was further shown that MAGUKs are also cleaved by the cathepsins in HaCaT and CaCo-2 cells. Immunohistological data showed rapid loss of MAGUKs at the sites of cell-cell contacts, preceding actual cell detachment, suggesting that cleavage of MAGUKs is an important step in fast and efficient cell detachment.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2011; 2:e116. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here that a number of commonly used small peptide caspase inhibitors consisting of a caspase recognition sequence linked to chloromethylketone, fluoromethylketone or aldehyde reactive group efficiently inhibit other cysteine proteases than caspases. The in vitro studies included cathepsins B, H, L, S, K, F, V, X and C, papain and legumain. Z-DEVD-cmk was shown to be the preferred irreversible inhibitor of most of the cathepsins in vitro, followed by Z-DEVD-fmk, Ac-YVAD-cmk, Z-YVAD-fmk and Z-VAD-fmk. Inactivation of legumain by all the inhibitors investigated was moderate, whereas cathepsins H and C were poorly inhibited or not inhibited at all. Inhibition by aldehydes was not very potent. All the three fluoromethylketones efficiently inhibited cathepsins in Jurkat and human embryonic kidney 293 cells at concentrations of 100 microM. Furthermore, they completely inhibited cathepsins B and X activity in tissue extracts at concentrations as low as 1 microM. These results suggest that data based on the use of these inhibitors should be taken with caution and that other proteases may be implicated in the processes previously ascribed solely to caspases.
Cell Death and Differentiation 09/2003; 10(8):881-8. · 8.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiology of the gut lumen of the red flour beetle, T. castaneum, was studied to determine the conditions for optimal protein hydrolysis. Although the pH of gut lumen extracts from T. castaneum was 6.5, maximum hydrolysis of casein by gut proteinases occurred at pH 4.2. The synthetic substrate N-alpha-benzoyl-DL-arginine-rho-nitroanilide was hydrolyzed by T. castaneum gut proteinases in both acidic and alkaline buffers, whereas hydrolysis of N-succinyl-ala-ala-pro-phe rho-nitroanilide occurred in alkaline buffer. Inhibitors of T. castaneum digestive proteinases were examined to identify potential biopesticides for incorporation in transgenic seed. Cysteine proteinase inhibitors from potato, Job's tears, and sea anemone (equistatin) were effective inhibitors of in vitro casein hydrolysis by T. castaneum proteinases. Other inhibitors of T. castaneum proteinases included leupeptin, L-trans-epoxysuccinylleucylamido [4-guanidino] butane (E-64), tosyl-L-lysine chloromethyl ketone, and antipain. Casein hydrolysis was inhibited weakly by chymostatin, N-tosyl-L-phenylalanine chloromethyl ketone, and soybean trypsin inhibitor (Kunitz). The soybean trypsin inhibitor had no significant effect on growth when it was bioassayed alone, but it was effective when used in combination with potato cysteine proteinase inhibitor. In other bioassays with single inhibitors, larval growth was suppressed by the cysteine proteinase inhibitors from potato, Job's tears, or sea anemone. Levels of inhibition were similar to that observed with E-64, although the moles of proteinaceous inhibitor tested were approximately 1000-fold less. These proteinaceous inhibitors are promising candidates for transgenic seed technology to reduce seed damage by T. castaneum.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 05/2003; 134(4):481-90. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amyloid fibril field is briefly described, with some stress put on differences between various proteins and possible role for domain swapping. In the main body of the text, first, a short review is given of the folding properties of both human stefins, alpha/beta-type globular proteins of 53% identity with a known three-dimensional fold. Second, in vitro study of amyloid fibril formation by human stefin B (type I cystatin) is described. Solvents of pH 4.8 and pH 3.3 with and without 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) were probed, as it has been shown previously that stefin B forms acid intermediates, a native-like and molten globule intermediate, respectively. The kinetics of fibrillation were measured by thioflavin T fluorescence and CD. At pH 3.3, the protein is initially in the molten globule state. The fibrillation is faster than at pH 4.8; however, there is more aggregation observed. On adding TFE at each pH, the fibril formation is further accelerated.
Biochemical Society Transactions 09/2002; 30(4):543-7. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From their discovery in the first half of the 20th century, lysosomal cysteine proteases have come a long way: from being the enzymes non-selectively degrading proteins in lysosomes to being those responsible for a number of important cellular processes. Some of the features and roles of their structures, specificity, regulation and physiology are discussed.
The EMBO Journal 10/2001; 20(17):4629-33. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cathepsin L is a lysosomal cysteine protease involved in intracellular protein degradation. Recently, several new cysteine proteases have been identified. Human cathepsin V, a thymus- and testis-specific human cysteine protease, shares 78% sequence identity with human cathepsin L. Due to the strong sequence similarity, highly selective reagents are needed to elucidate the physiological functions of the two enzymes. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been prepared against recombinant human cathepsin L. Antibodies produced by five clones reacted with procathepsin L and mature cathepsin L. They also reacted with cathepsin L in complex with a peptide fragment, which is identical to the alternatively spliced segment of the p41 form of MHC Class II associated invariant chain. Two mAbs, (M105 and H102) were specific for cathepsin L, while three (N135, B145 and D24) cross-reacted with cathepsin V. None of the mAbs cross-reacted with cathepsins B, H and S. We have developed a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantifying cathepsin L. This sandwich ELISA uses a combination of two monoclonal antibodies which recognize different, non-overlapping epitopes on the cathepsin L molecule. The lower detection limit of the sandwich ELISA was 5 ng of cathepsin L per ml.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antigen presentation by MHC class II molecules requires cysteine proteases (CP) for two convergent proteolytic processes: stepwise degradation of the invariant chain (Ii) and generation of immunogenic peptides. Their activity is controlled by intracellular CP inhibitors, including presumably the p41 isoform of invariant chain (p41 Ii), which is in vitro a potent inhibitor of cathepsin L but not of cathepsin S. In order to evaluate the inhibitory potential of p41 Ii in antigen-presenting cells (APC), these three proteins were stained in lymph node tissue using specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. The most abundant labelling was observed in subcapsular (cortical) and trabecular sinuses of the lymph node. In this area the most frequent APC were macrophages, as confirmed by the CD68 cell marker. Using confocal fluorescence microscopy, co-localisation of p41 Ii with cathepsin S, but not with cathepsin L was found in these cells. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that cathepsin S participates in degradation of the invariant chain, but they do not support the association between cathepsin L and p41 Ii in APC.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured and compared the activities of various kinds of proteinases, such as cysteine, serine, aspartic, and metalloproteinases, in synovial fluids of 16 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 18 patients with osteoarthritis (OA). More than 19-fold higher activity of cathepsin B and about 6-fold higher activity of prolylendopeptidase, compared to those of OA, were accumulated in RA fluid. Moreover, levels of cathepsins B and S using the corresponding sandwich enzyme immunoassays were statistically higher in RA fluid than those in OA. Significant amounts of 41-kDa and 35-kDa procathepsin L were detected in RA fluid using gelatin zymography, while 41-kDa enzyme alone was detected in OA. Cathepsin B in RA fluid could degrade collagen, and this degradation was suppressed by the addition of CA-074, a specific inhibitor of cathepsin B. Therefore, cathepsin B may participate in joint destruction of RA, and its inhibitor may be effective for RA care.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2001; 283(2):334-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that the lysosomal proteinases cathepsin B, L and D participate in tumour invasion and metastasis. Whereas for cathepsins B and L the role of active enzyme in invasion processes has been confirmed, cathepsin D was suggested to support tumour progression via its pro-peptide, rather than by its proteolytic activity. In this study we have compared the presence of active cathepsins B, L and D in ras-transformed human breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A neoT) with their ability to invade matrigel. In this cell line high expression of all three cathepsins was detected by immunofluorescence microscopy. The effect of proteolytic activity on cell invasion was studied by adding various natural and synthetic cysteine and aspartic proteinase inhibitors. The most effective compound was chicken cystatin, a general natural inhibitor of cysteine proteinases, (82.8+/-1.6% inhibition of cell invasion), followed by the synthetic inhibitor trans-epoxysuccinyl-L-leucylamido-(4-guanidino) butane (E-64). CLIK-148, a specific inhibitor of cathepsin L, showed a lower effect than chicken cystatin and E-64. Pepstatin A weakly inhibited invasion, whereas the same molar concentrations of squash aspartic proteinase (SQAPI)-like inhibitor, isolated from squash Cucurbita pepo, showed significant inhibition (65.7+/-1.8%). We conclude that both cysteine and aspartic proteinase activities are needed for invasion by MCF-10A neoT cells in vitro.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stefins A and B are cysteine proteinase inhibitors that have considerable sequence similarity but marked differences in their stability and folding properties. Two chimeric proteins were designed to shed light on these differences. The chimeric mutants have been expressed in Escherichia coli and have been isolated. The first, A37B, consists of 37 residues of stefin A, comprising the N-terminal and the alpha-helix, joined to 61 residues of stefin B; the second, A61B, consists of 61 N-terminal residues of stefin A, followed by 37 residues of stefin B. Spectroscopic properties of the chimeric proteins (absorption, CD, and NMR spectra), together with activity measurements, have confirmed that both have well-defined tertiary structure and are active as cysteine proteinase inhibitors. Characterization consisted of GuHCl denaturation, ANS binding as a function of pH, and monitoring of dimerization under partially denaturing conditions. The c(m) values are 1.3 M GuHCl for A61B as compared with 2.7 M GuHCl for stefin A, and 2.1 M GuHCl for A37B as compared with 1.4 M GuHCl for stefin B (all at pH 7.5, 25 degrees C). However (G degrees (N-U) is lower for both chimeric proteins (18 +/- 3 kJ/mol) than for the parent stefins (28 +/- 3 kJ/mol). In pH denaturation, unlike stefin B, neither chimeric mutant unfolds to I(N) below pH 5.4. At pH 3, where stefin B forms a molten globule and stefin A is native, both A37B and A61B show increased ANS fluorescence and aggregate visibly. Dimers at pre-denaturation conditions are observed in all the proteins under study, but they remain "trapped" only in stefin A.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 04/2001; 42(4):512-22. · 3.34 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the mechanism of lysosome-mediated cell death using purified recombinant pro-apoptotic proteins, and cell-free extracts from the human neuronal progenitor cell line NT2. Potential effectors were either isolated lysosomes or purified lysosomal proteases. Purified lysosomal cathepsins B, H, K, L, S, and X or an extract of mouse lysosomes did not directly activate either recombinant caspase zymogens or caspase zymogens present in an NT2 cytosolic extract to any significant extent. In contrast, a cathepsin L-related protease from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, cruzipain, showed a measurable caspase activation rate. This demonstrated that members of the papain family can directly activate caspases but that mammalian lysosomal members of this family may have been negatively selected for caspase activation to prevent inappropriate induction of apoptosis. Given the lack of evidence for a direct role in caspase activation by lysosomal proteases, we hypothesized that an indirect mode of caspase activation may involve the Bcl-2 family member Bid. In support of this, Bid was cleaved in the presence of lysosomal extracts, at a site six residues downstream from that seen for pathways involving capase 8. Incubation of mitochondria with Bid that had been cleaved by lysosomal extracts resulted in cytochrome c release. Thus, cleavage of Bid may represent a mechanism by which proteases that have leaked from the lysosomes can precipitate cytochrome c release and subsequent caspase activation. This is supported by the finding that cytosolic extracts from mice ablated in the bid gene are impaired in the ability to release cytochrome c in response to lysosome extracts. Together these data suggest that Bid represents a sensor that allows cells to initiate apoptosis in response to widespread adventitious proteolysis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2001; 276(5):3149-57. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human stefin A is an inhibitor of lysosomal cysteine proteinases cathepsin B, H, L and S. In the present report we describe the cloning and expression of anti-stefin A Fab fragment A22 in E. coli. We have determined the nucleotide sequences of the antibody heavy and light chain and compared them to the murine immunoglobulin germ line sequences. Expression of the two antibody chains was achieved using a single vector with a PhoA promoter and coding regions placed after the signal sequences, directing them to the periplasmic space. The A22 Fab fragment was extracted from the periplasmic space and expression was confirmed by Western blot analysis. The recombinant A22 Fab fragment had an affinity for stefin A comparable to the original monoclonal antibody, as determined by ELISA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cathepsin X, purified to homogeneity from human liver, is a single chain glycoprotein with a molecular mass of approximately 33 kDa and pI 5.1-5.3. Cathepsin X was inhibited by stefin A, cystatin C and chicken cystatin (Ki = 1.7-15.0 nM), but poorly or not at all by stefin B (Ki > 250 nM) and L-kininogen, respectively. The enzyme was also inhibited by two specific synthetic cathepsin B inhibitors, CA-074 and GFG-semicarbazone. Cathepsin X was similar to cathepsin B and found to be a carboxypeptidase with preference for a positively charged Arg in P1 position. Contrary to the preference of cathepsin B, cathepsin X normally acts as a carboxymonopeptidase. However, the preference for Arg in the P1 position is so strong that cathepsin X cleaves substrates with Arg in antepenultimate position, acting also as a carboxydipeptidase. A large hydrophobic residue such as Trp is preferred in the P1' position, although the enzyme cleaved all P1' residues investigated (Trp, Phe, Ala, Arg, Pro). Cathepsin X also cleaved substrates with amide-blocked C-terminal carboxyl group with rates similar to those of the unblocked substrates. In contrast, no endopeptidase activity of cathepsin X could be detected on a series of o-aminobenzoic acid-peptidyl-N-[2,-dinitrophenyl]ethylenediamine substrates. Furthermore, the standard cysteine protease methylcoumarine amide substrates (kcat/Km approximately 5.0 x 103 M-1.s-1) were degraded approximately 25-fold less efficiently than the carboxypeptidase substrates (kcat/Km approximately 120.0 x 103 M-1.s-1).
European Journal of Biochemistry 09/2000; 267(17):5404-12. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The type 1 domain of thyroglobulin is a protein module (Thyr-1) that occurs in a variety of secreted and membrane proteins. Several examples of Thyr-1 modules have been previously identified as inhibitors of the papain family of cysteine proteinases. Saxiphilin is a neurotoxin-binding protein from bullfrog and a homolog of transferrin with a pair of such Thyr-1 modules located in the N-lobe. Saxiphilin is now characterized as a potent inhibitor of three cysteine proteinases as follows: papain, human cathepsin B, and cathepsin L. The stoichiometry of enzyme inhibition reveals that both Thyr-1 domains of saxiphilin inhibit papain (apparent K(i) = 1. 72 nm), but only one of these domains inhibits cathepsin B (K(i) = 1. 67 nm) and cathepsin L (K(i) = 0.02 nm). Physical association of saxiphilin and papain blocked from turnover at the active-site cysteine residue can be detected by cross-linking with glutaraldehyde. The rate of association of saxiphilin and cathepsin B is strongly pH-dependent with an optimum at pH 5.2, reflecting control by at least two H(+)-titratable groups. These results further demonstrate that various Thyr-1 domains are selective inhibitors of cysteine proteinases with utility in the study of protein interactions and degradation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2000; 275(20):15572-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlike mammalian lysosomal cysteine proteases, the trypanosomal cysteine protease cruzipain contains a 130-amino acid residue C-terminal domain, in addition to the catalytic domain, and it is stable at neutral pH. The endogenous (with C-terminal domain) and recombinant (without C-terminal domain) cruzipains exhibit similar stabilities at both acid (k(inac)=3.1x10(-3) s(-1) and 4.4x10(-3) s(-1) at pH 2.75 for endogenous and recombinant cruzipain, respectively) and alkaline pH (k(inac)=3.0x10(-3) s(-1) and 3. 7x10(-3) s(-1) at pH 9.15 for endogenous and recombinant cruzipain, respectively). The pH-induced inactivation, which is a highly pH dependent first order process, is irreversible and accompanied by significant changes of secondary and tertiary structure as revealed by circular dichroism measurements. The different stability of cruzipain as compared to related proteases, is therefore due mainly to the different number, nature and distribution of charged residues within the catalytic domain and not due to addition of the C-terminal domain.