Cathepsin E, an endolysosomal aspartic proteinase predominantly expressed in cells of the immune system, has an important role in immune responses. However, little is known about the precise roles of cathepsin E in this system. Here we report that cathepsin E deficiency (CatE-/-) leads to a novel form of lysosome storage disorder in macrophages, exhibiting the accumulation of the two major lysosomal membrane sialoglycoproteins LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 and the elevation of lysosomal pH. These striking features were also found in wild-type macrophages treated with pepstatin A and Ascaris inhibitor. Whereas there were no obvious differences in their expression, biosynthesis, and trafficking between wild-type and CatE-/- macrophages, the degradation rates of these two membrane proteins were apparently decreased as a result of cathepsin E deficiency. Because there was no difference in the vacuolar-type H +-ATPase activity in both cell types, the elevated lysosomal pH in CatE-/- macrophages is most likely due to the accumulation of these lysosomal membrane glycoproteins highly modified with acidic monosaccharides, thereby leading to the disruption of non-proton factors controlling lysosomal pH. Furthermore, the selective degradation of LAMP-1 and LAMP-2, as well as LIMP-2, was also observed by treatment of the lysosomal membrane fraction isolated from wild-type macrophages with purified cathepsin E at pH 5. Our results thus suggest that cathepsin E is important for preventing the accumulation of these lysosomal membrane sialoglycoproteins that can induce a new form of lysosomal storage disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology