Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.460, No.2, 261-266, 2015
Cysteine protease antigens cleave CD123, the alpha subunit of murine IL-3 receptor, on basophils and suppress IL-3-mediated basophil expansion
Th2 type immune responses are essential for protective immunity against parasites and play crucial roles in allergic disorders. Helminth parasites secrete a variety of proteases for their infectious cycles including for host entry, tissue migration, and suppression of host immune effector cell function. Furthermore, a number of pathogen-derived antigens, as well as allergens such as papain, belong to the family of cysteine proteases. Although the link between protease activity and Th2 type immunity is well documented, the mechanisms by which proteases regulate host immune responses are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the cysteine proteases papain and bromelain selectively cleave the cc subunit of the IL-3 receptor (IL-3R alpha/CD123) on the surface of murine basophils. The decrease in CD123 expression on the cell surface, and the degradation of the extracellular domain of recombinant CD123 were dependent on the protease activity of papain and bromelain. Pre-treatment of murine basophils with papain resulted in inhibition of IL-3-IL-3R signaling and suppressed IL-3- but not thymic stromal lymphopoietin-induced expansion of basophils in vitro. Our unexpected findings illuminate a novel mechanism for the regulation of basophil functions by protease antigens. Because IL-3 plays pivotal roles in the activation and proliferation of basophils and in protective immunity against helminth parasites, pathogen-derived proteases might contribute to the pathogenesis of infections by regulating IL-3-mediated functions in basophils. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.