In mammals, cysteine proteases are essential for the induction and development of both innate and adaptive immune responses. These proteases play a role in antigen-and pathogen-recognition and elimination, signal processing and cell homeostasis. Many pathogens also secrete cysteine proteases that often act on the same target proteins as the mammalian proteases and thereby can modulate host immunity from initial recognition to effector mechanisms. Pathogen-derived proteases range from nonspecific proteases that degrade multiple proteins involved in the immune response to enzymes that are very specific in their mode of action. Here, we overview current knowledge of pathogen-derived cysteine proteases that modulate immune responses by altering the normal function of key receptors or pathways in the mammalian immune system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)