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Proteolytic cleavage of bioactive peptides and protease-activated receptors in acute and post-colitis

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The protease activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome has been studied extensively using synthetic fluorogenic substrates targeting specific sets of proteases. We explored activities in colonic tissue from a 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis rat model by investigating the cleavage of bioactive peptides. Pure trypsin- and elastase-like proteases on the one hand and colonic tissue from rats with TNBS-induced colitis in the acute or post-inflammatory phase on the other, were incubated with relevant peptides to identify their cleavage pattern by mass spectrometry. An increased cleavage of several peptides was observed in the colon from acute colitis rats. The tethered ligand (TL) sequences of peptides mimicking the N-terminus of protease-activated receptors (PAR) 1 and 4 were significantly unmasked by acute colitis samples and these cleavages were positively correlated with thrombin activity. Increased cleavage of beta-endorphin and disarming of the TL-sequence of the PAR3-based peptide were observed in acute colitis and linked to chymotrypsin-like activity. Increased processing of the enkephalins points to the involvement of proteases with specificities different from trypsin- or chymotrypsin-like enzymes. In conclusion, our results suggest thrombin, chymotrypsin-like proteases and a set of proteases with different specificities as potential therapeutic targets in IBD.
Journal: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1422-0067
Volume: 22
Number of pages: 26
Publication year:2021