The role of the immunoproteasome is perceived as confined to adaptive immune responses given its ability to produce peptides ideal for MHC Class-I binding. Here, we demonstrate that the immunoproteasome subunit, LMP2, has functions beyond its immunomodulatory role. Using LMP2-deficient mice, we demonstrate that LMP2 is crucial for lymphocyte development and survival in the periphery. Moreover, LMP2-deficient lymphocytes show impaired degradation of key BH3-only proteins, resulting in elevated levels of pro-apoptotic BIM and increased cell death. Interestingly, LMP2 is the sole immunoproteasome subunit required for BIM degradation. Together, our results suggest LMP2 has important housekeeping functions and represents a viable therapeutic target for cancer.
- lymphocyte differentiation
- T-cell development