Effect of cancer cachexia on the activity of tripeptidyl-peptidase II in skeletal muscle

Anita Chand, Stacey M. Wyke, Michael J. Tisdale*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway plays a major role in degradation of myofibrillar proteins in skeletal muscle during cancer cachexia. The end-product of this pathway is oligopeptides and these are degraded by the extralysomal peptidase tripeptidyl-peptidase II (TPPII) together with various aminopeptidases to form tripeptides and amino acids. To investigate if a relationship exists between the activity of the proteasome and TPPII, functional activities have been measured in gastrocnemius muscle of mice bearing the MAC16 tumour, and with varying extents of weight loss. TPPII activity was quantitated using the specific substrate Ala-Ala-Phe-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin, while proteasome activity was determined as the 'chymotrypsin-like' enzyme activity. Both proteasome proteolytic activity and TPPII activity increased in parallel with increasing weight loss, reaching a maximum at 16% weight loss, after which there was a progressive decrease in activity for both proteases with increasing weight loss. In murine myotubes, proteolysis-inducing factor, which is a sulphated glycoprotein produced by cachexia-inducing tumours, induced an increase in activity of both proteasome and TPPII, with an identical dose-response curve, and both activities were inhibited by eicosapentaenoic acid. These results suggest that the activities of both the proteasome and TPPII are regulated in a parallel manner in cancer cachexia, and that both are induced by the same factor and probably have the same intracellular signalling pathways and transcription factors. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2005


  • cancer cachexia
  • muscle protein degradation
  • proteolysis-inducing factor
  • tripeptidyl-peptidase II


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