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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jul 21;275(29):22180-6.

Down-regulation of T cell activation following inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase IV/CD26 by the N-terminal part of the thromboxane A2 receptor.

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Institute of Experimental Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Strasse 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Using synthetic inhibitors, it has been shown that the ectopeptidase dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DP IV) (CD26) plays an important role in the activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes. The human immunodeficiency virus-1 Tat protein, as well as the N-terminal nonapeptide Tat(1-9) and other peptides containing the N-terminal sequence XXP, also inhibit DP IV and therefore T cell activation. Studying the effect of amino acid exchanges in the N-terminal three positions of the Tat(1-9) sequence, we found that tryptophan in position 2 strongly improves DP IV inhibition. NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling show that the effect of Trp(2)-Tat(1-9) could not be explained by significant alterations in the backbone structure and suggest that tryptophan enters favorable interactions with DP IV. Data base searches revealed the thromboxane A2 receptor (TXA2-R) as a membrane protein extracellularly exposing N-terminal MWP. TXA2-R is expressed within the immune system on antigen-presenting cells, namely monocytes. The N-terminal nonapeptide of TXA2-R, TXA2-R(1-9), inhibits DP IV and DNA synthesis and IL-2 production of tetanus toxoid-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Moreover, TXA2-R(1-9) induces the production of the immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor-beta1. These data suggest that the N-terminal part of TXA2-R is an endogenous inhibitory ligand of DP IV and may modulate T cell activation via DP IV/CD26 inhibition.

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