Gamma-Interferon-Inducible Lysosomal Thiol Reductase (GILT) Maintains Phagosomal Proteolysis in Alternatively Activated Macrophages. [Cell Biology]

September 24th, 2014 by Balce, D. R., Allan, E. R. O., McKenna, N., Yates, R. M.

Although it is known that lysosomal cysteine cathepsins require a reducing environment for optimal activity, it is not firmly established how these enzymes are maintained in their reduced-active state in the acidic and occasionally oxidative environment within phagosomes and lysosomes. Gamma-interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT) has been the only enzyme described in endosomes, lysosomes and phagosomes with the potential to catalyze the reduction of cysteine cathepsins. Our goal in the current study was to assess the effect of GILT on major phagosomal functions with an emphasis on proteolytic efficiency in murine bone marrow derived macrophages. Assessment of phagosomal disulfide reduction upon internalization of IgG-opsonized experimental particles confirmed a major role for GILT in phagosomal disulfide reduction in both resting and interferon-γ-activated macrophages. Furthermore we observed a decrease in early phagosomal proteolytic efficiency in GILT-deficient macrophages, specifically in the absence of an NADPH oxidase-mediated respiratory burst. This deficiency was more prominent in IL-4-activated macrophages that inherently possess lower levels of NADPH oxidase activity. Finally, we provide evidence that GILT is required for optimal activity of the lysosomal cysteine protease, cathepsin S. In summary, our results suggest a role for GILT in maintaining cysteine cathepsin proteolytic efficiency in phagosomes, particularly in the absence of high NADPH oxidase activity, which is characteristic of alternatively activated macrophages.
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