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Cell Immunol. 1993 Aug;150(1):124-36.

Proenzyme from of cathepsin L produced by thymic epithelial cells promotes proliferation of immature thymocytes in the presence of IL-1, IL-7, and anti-CD3 antibody.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Japan.

Abstract

A thymic epithelial cell line (TEC1-4) established from newborn mouse thymus produced a cofactor to promote proliferation of double-negative (CD4-8-) thymocytes in the presence of IL-1, IL-7, and anti-CD3 antibody. Based upon the sequence of 8 amino acid residues near the N terminal portion, the factor was identified as the mouse proenzyme form of cathepsin L which is almost identical to the rat proenzyme form of cathepsin L (95% in homology). Production of the proenzyme form of cathepsin L was confirmed in the TEC1-4 and mouse embryonic thymus by Western blotting analysis and Northern blotting analysis. Furthermore, immunohistologically, the presence of cathepsin L was observed in the epithelial cells of the subcapsular layer and around the small vessels in the thymic cortex. It has been concluded that a subpopulation of thymic cortical epithelial cells produces the proenzyme form of cathepsin L which can act as a cofactor to promote proliferation of DN immature thymocytes.

PMID:
8343964
DOI:
10.1006/cimm.1993.1184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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