Analytical biochemistry

Identification and discrimination of extracellularly active cathepsins B and L in high-invasive melanoma cells.

PMID 16620747


We established a novel protocol for lithium dodecyl sulfate (LDS) gelatin zymography, which operates under reducing conditions and at a slightly acidic pH value (6.5). This zymographic assay is based on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and facilitates the electrophoretic separation of human cathepsins in an active state. By this technique, activity of purified human liver cathepsin B was detected at a concentration as low as 50 ng and was blocked only in the presence of the cysteine protease inhibitor E-64 and the specific cathepsin B inhibitor CA-074 but not by aspartate, serine, or matrix metalloprotease inhibitors. The method was applied to analyze cathepsin activities in cell culture supernatants of the high-invasive melanoma cell line MV3. Interestingly, LDS zymography of MV3 cell supernatants in combination with specific inhibitors of cathepsins B and L identified three forms of extracellularly active cathepsin B and two forms of proteolytically active cathepsin L. We herein describe the generation and biochemical significance of acidic LDS zymography. This novel method permits not only the enzymatic analysis of purified cysteine proteases but also the identification and discrimination of different cathepsin activities in biological fluids, cell lysates, or supernatants, especially of cathepsins B and L, which are closely linked to major inflammatory and malignant processes.

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CA-074, ≥99% (TLC)