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Localization of Cysteine Protease, Cathepsin S, to the Surface of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells by Association with Integrin ανβ3

Authors
Publisher
American Society for Investigative Pathology
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
  • Original Research Paper

Abstract

Smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration from the tunica media to the intima, a key event in neointimal formation, requires proteolytic degradation of elastin-rich extracellular matrix barriers. Although cathepsin S (Cat S) is overexpressed in atherosclerotic and neointimal lesions, its exact role in SMC behavior remains primarily unresolved. We examined the involvement of Cat S on SMC migration through an extracellular matrix barrier and its localization in SMCs. A selective Cat S inhibitor and the endogenous inhibitor cystatin C significantly attenuated SMC invasion across elastin gel. Western blotting and cell surface biotinylation analysis demonstrated localization of the 28-kd active form of Cat S on the SMC surface, consistent with its role in the proteolysis of subcellular matrices. Treatment with interferon-γ or interleukin-β1 significantly augmented the ability of SMC membranes to degrade elastin along with a significant increase in the level of active Cat S compared with controls. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy showed a punctuated pattern of Cat S clusters at the periphery of SMCs; further studies demonstrated partial co-localization of Cat S and integrin ανβ3 at the cell surfaces. These findings demonstrate that active Cat S co-localizes with integrin ανβ3 as a receptor on the SMC surface, playing an important role in the invasive behavior of SMCs.

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