Penetrating Traumatic Brain Injury Triggers Dysregulation of Cathepsin B Protein Levels Independent of Cysteine Protease Activity in Brain and Cerebral Spinal Fluid

Angela M. Boutté*, Vivian Hook, Bharani Thangavelu, George Anis Sarkis, Brittany N. Abbatiello, Gregory Hook, J. Steven Jacobsen, Claudia S. Robertson, Janice Gilsdorf, Zhihui Yang, Kevin K.W. Wang, Deborah A. Shear

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cathepsin B (CatB), a lysosomal cysteine protease, is important to brain function and may have dual utility as a peripheral biomarker of moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The present study determined levels of pro- and mature (mat) CatB protein as well as cysteine protease activity within the frontal cortex (FC; proximal injury site), hippocampus (HC; distal injury site), and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collected 1-7 days after craniotomy and penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI) in rats. Values were compared with naïve controls. Further, the utility of CatB protein as a translational biomarker was determined in CSF derived from patients with severe TBI. Craniotomy increased matCatB levels in the FC and HC, and led to elevation of HC activity at day 7. PBBI caused an even greater elevation in matCatB within the FC and HC within 3-7 days. After PBBI, cysteine protease activity peaked at 3 days in the FC and was elevated at 1 day and 7 days, but not 3 days, in the HC. In rat CSF, proCatB, matCatB, and cysteine protease activity peaked at 3 days after craniotomy and PBBI. Addition of CA-074, a CatB-specific inhibitor, confirmed that protease activity was due to active matCatB in rat brain tissues and CSF at all time-points. In patients, CatB protein was detectable from 6 h through 10 days after TBI. Notably, CatB levels were significantly higher in CSF collected within 3 days after TBI compared with non-TBI controls. Collectively, this work indicates that CatB and its cysteine protease activity may serve as collective molecular signatures of TBI progression that differentially vary within both proximal and distal brain regions. CatB and its protease activity may have utility as a surrogate, translational biomarker of acute-subacute TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1574-1586
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume37
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biomarkers
  • cathepsin B
  • clinical TBI
  • cysteine protease
  • head trauma
  • penetrating ballistic-like brain injury
  • translational rodent models
  • traumatic brain injury

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