Cathepsin E regulates the presentation of tetanus toxin C-fragment in PMA activated primary human B cells

Timo Burster, Michael Reich, Nousheen Zaidi, Wolfgang Voelter, Bernhard O Boehm, Hubert Kalbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Processing of antigens by proteases in the endocytic compartments of antigen presenting cells (APC) is essential to make them suitable for presentation as antigenic peptides to T lymphocytes. Several proteases of the cysteine, aspartyl and serine classes are involved in this process. It has been speculated, that the aspartyl protease cathepsin E (CatE) is involved in antigen processing in B cell line, monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) and murine DC. Here we show the expression of CatE in primary human B cells and DC, which was only elevated in B cells after induction with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), resulted in enhanced presentation of tetanus toxin C-fragment (TTC) to the respective T cells. Inhibition of aspartyl proteases using pepstatin-A-penetratin (PepA-P), a highly efficient, cell-permeable aspartyl protease inhibitor, reduced significantly T cell activation in PMA activated B cells but not in PMA activated myeloid DC (mDC). Thus we suggest that CatE is important in the processing of TTC in primary human B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-303
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 26 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen Presentation
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Cathepsin E
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Pepstatins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Tetanus Toxin
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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