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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 1;286(26):23222-33. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.197400. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Deimination of human filaggrin-2 promotes its proteolysis by calpain 1.

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UMR5165 CNRS, F-31059 Toulouse, France.


Filaggrin-2 (FLG2), a member of the S100-fused type protein family, shares numerous features with filaggrin (FLG), a key protein implicated in the epidermal barrier functions. Both display a related structural organization, an identical pattern of expression and localization in human epidermis, and proteolytic processing of a large precursor. Here, we tested whether FLG2 was a substrate of calpain 1, a calcium-dependent protease directly involved in FLG catabolism. In addition, deimination being critical for FLG degradation, we analyzed whether FLG2 deimination interfered with its proteolytic processing. With this aim, we first produced a recombinant form of FLG2 corresponding to subunits B7 to B10 fused to a COOH-terminal His tag. Incubation with calpain 1 in the presence of calcium induced a rapid degradation of the recombinant protein and the production of several peptides, as shown by Coomassie Blue-stained gels and Western blotting with anti-FLG2 or anti-His antibodies. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry confirmed this result and further evidenced the production of non-immunoreactive smaller peptides. The degradation was not observed when a calpain 1-specific inhibitor was added. The calpain cleavage sites identified by Edman degradation were regularly present in the B-type repeats of FLG2. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis of normal human skin revealed colocalization of FLG2 and calpain 1 in the upper epidermis. Finally, the FLG2 deiminated by human peptidylarginine deiminases was shown to be more susceptible to calpain 1 than the unmodified protein. Altogether, these data demonstrate that calpain 1 is essential for the proteolytic processing of FLG2 and that deimination accelerates this process.

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