Osteopontin is a pleiotropic cytokine that is involved in several diseases including multiple sclerosis. Secreted osteopontin is cleaved by few known proteases, modulating its pro-inflammatory activities. Here we show by in vitro experiments that secreted osteopontin can be processed by extracellular proteasomes, thereby producing fragments with novel chemotactic activity. Furthermore, osteopontin reduces the release of proteasomes in the extracellular space. The latter phenomenon seems to occur in vivo in multiple sclerosis, where it reflects the remission/relapse alternation. The extracellular proteasome-mediated inflammatory pathway may represent a general mechanism to control inflammation in inflammatory diseases.
- Journal Article