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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PU.1 regulates cathepsin S expression in professional APCs.

Cathepsin S ( CTSS) is a cysteine protease that is constitutively expressed in APCs and mediates processing of MHC class II-associated invariant chain. CTSS and the Ets family transcription factor PU.1 are highly expressed in cells of both myeloid (macrophages and dendritic cells) and lymphoid (B lymphocytes) lineages. Therefore, we hypothesized that PU.1 participates in the transcriptional regulation of CTSS in these cells. In A549 cells (a human epithelial cell line that does not express either CTSS or PU.1), the expression of PU.1 enhances CTSS promoter activity approximately 5- to 10-fold. In RAW cells (a murine macrophage-like cell line that constitutively expresses both CTSS and PU.1), the expression of a dominant-negative PU.1 protein and a short-interfering RNA PU.1 construct attenuates basal CTSS promoter activity, mRNA levels, and protein expression. EMSAs show binding of PU.1 to oligonucleotides derived from the CTSS promoter at two different Ets consensus binding elements. Mutation of these sites decreases the baseline CTSS activity in RAW cells that constitutively express PU. 1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments show binding of PU.1 with the CTSS promoter in this same region. Finally, the expression of PU.1, in concert with several members of the IFN regulatory factor family, enhances CTSS promoter activity beyond that achieved by PU.1 alone. These data indicate that PU.1 participates in the regulation of CTSS transcription in APCs. Thus, manipulation of PU.1 expression may directly alter the endosomal proteolytic environment in these cells.[1]


  1. PU.1 regulates cathepsin S expression in professional APCs. Wang, Y., Baron, R.M., Zhu, G., Joo, M., Christman, J.W., Silverman, E.S., Perrella, M.A., Riese, R.J., Cernadas, M. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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