Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV, also known as CD26; EC is a non-integrin receptor glycoprotein with multiple functions, including cell adhesion, cellular trafficking through the extracellular matrix and co-stimulatory potential during T cell activation. By virtue of its exopeptidase activity, DPP IV plays a key regulatory role in the metabolism of peptide hormones. Based on data emerging from different biomedical specialties, it appears worthwhile to highlight the different facets of DPP IV in nutrition, immune responses and peptide hormone metabolism. The presentation of the complex regulatory circuits in which DPP IV appears to be involved may also serve as a note of caution, in view of attempts to apply selective inhibitors of DPP IV enzymic activity for the treatment of disease, e.g. Type II diabetes.

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