The aspartic proteinase cathepsin E is localized mainly in the endosomal structures of APCs and has been implicated in a variety of immune responses, however, the precise roles of cathepsin E in these cells remain speculative. In this study, we report the effect of disrupting the gene encoding cathepsin E on the nature and functions of dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages derived from mouse bone marrow precursors, as well as mouse peritoneal macrophages. Whereas cathepsin E deficiency induced the accumulation of the lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP)-1 and LAMP-2 and elevated the lysosomal pH in macrophages, it did not have these effects on DCs. Although cathepsin E deficiency also caused a marked decrease in degradation of phagocytosed OVA and chemotactic responses to MCP-1 and fMLP by macrophages, these abilities were little affected in DCs by the absence of cathepsin E. Interestingly, cathepsin E deficiency markedly decreased the ability of macrophages to present intact OVA, as well as an OVA-derived antigenic peptide (266-281), to cognate T cells, while that of DCs was inversely enhanced by the absence of this protein. This paradox was resolved, in part, by the enhanced phagocytic activity and the increased expression of the costimulatory molecules CD86, CD80, and CD40, which amplify the response of T cells, in cathepsin E-deficient DCs compared with the wild-type cells. These results indicate that cathepsin E differentially regulates the nature and function of DCs and macrophages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy