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Was the serine protease cathepsin G discovered by S. G. Hedin in 1903 in bovine spleen?

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In the beginning of the 20th century, enzymes with proteolytic activity were classified as peptidases, Erepsin, and proteases. Among these, pepsin, trypsin, and autolytic enzymes were of the protease class. Spleen-derived proteases were poorly characterized until Sven Gustaf Hedin performed several digestion experiments with bovine spleen. He incubated minced bovine spleen under acidic or neutral conditions and characterized two active proteases; the results were published in 1903. The first protease was named α-protease and was active under neutral conditions. The second was named β-protease and was active under acidic conditions. We replicated Hedin's experiments according to his methods and found, by using activity-based probes to visualize proteases, that the historical α-protease is the present-day serine protease cathepsin G (CatG), which is known to be important in several immune processes, including antigen processing, chemotaxis, and activation of surface receptors. The β-protease, however, comprised different proteases including CatX, B, S, and D. We suggest that Hedin described CatG activity in bovine spleen over 100 years ago.
Physical description
  • Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • Wrocław University of Technology, Wrocław, Poland
  • Wrocław University of Technology, Wrocław, Poland
  • Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Ulm, Ulm, Germany
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