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Int J Mol Med. 1999 Jul;4(1):17-27.

Role of alanyl aminopeptidase in growth and function of human T cells (review).

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Otto von Guericke University, Centre of Internal Medicine, Institute of Experimental Internal Medicine, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Alanyl aminopeptidase (APN, CD13) is highly expressed in human monocytes, and anti-CD13 monoclonal antibodies are well established routine markers in leukaemia typing. Due to activation or malignant transformation other leukocyte subpopulations including human T cells exhibit significant APN-gene and surface expression. The function of leukocyte APN is poorly understood, especially the knowledge of physiological ligands/substrates of the enzyme is limited. Abnormal expression of APN on malignant lymphocytes, the activation-dependent induction of APN expression in peripheral T cells and the strong anti-proliferative effects of aminopeptidase inhibitors lead to the interesting hypothesis of a linkage of APN expression and/or function to leukocyte growth. In support of this hypothesis we detected mutations in the APN-gene of patients suffering from leukaemia or lymphoma. This review outlines evidence for APN contributing to the regulation and realisation of lymphocyte growth and function by modulating the mRNA expression of IL-2, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and TGF-beta1 and increasing the activity of MAP kinase p42/Erk2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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