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 journalArticlepeer-review

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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