Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 1991 Mar 15;266(8):5147-52.

Cathepsin B efficiently activates the soluble and the tumor cell receptor-bound form of the proenzyme urokinase-type plasminogen activator (Pro-uPA).

Author information

  • 1Frauenklinik der Technischen Universität München im Klinikum rechts der Isar, Federal Republic of Germany.


Action of purified human cathepsin B on recombinant single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (pro-uPA) generated enzymatically active two-chain uPA (HMW-uPA), which was indistinguishable by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot from plasmin-generated HMW-uPA and from elastase- or thrombin-generated inactive two-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Preincubation of cathepsin B with E-64 (transepoxysuccinyl-L-leucylamino- (4-guanidino)butane, a potent inhibitor for cathepsin B) prior to the addition of pro-uPA prevented the activation of pro-uPA. The cleavage site within the cathepsin B-treated urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) molecule, determined by N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis, is located between Lys158 and Ile159. Pro-uPA is cleaved by cathepsin B at the same peptide bond that is cleaved by plasmin or kallikrein. Binding of cathepsin B-activated pro-uPA to the uPA receptor on U937 cells did not differ from that of enzymatically inactive pro-uPA, indicating an intact receptor-binding region within the growth factor-like domain of the cathepsin B-treated uPA molecule. Not only soluble but also tumor cell receptor-bound pro-uPA could be efficiently cleaved by cathepsin B to generate enzymatically active two-chain uPA. Thus, cathepsin B can substitute for plasmin in the proteolytic activation of pro-uPA to enzymatically active HMW-uPA. In contrast, no significant activation of pro-uPA by cathepsin D was observed. As tumor cells may produce both pro-uPA and cathepsin B, implications for the activation of tumor cell-derived pro-uPA by cellular proteases may be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk