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Experimental hematology

Functional dissociation between proforms and mature forms of proteinase 3, azurocidin, and granzyme B in regulation of granulopoiesis.


PMID 12135665

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that secreted proform(s) of the neutrophil serine protease PR3 (proteinase 3) can down-modulate the fraction of normal human colony-forming unit granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) in S-phase, whereas PR3 extracted from mature neutrophils lacks this ability. The objective of this study was to characterize the structural and functional dissociation between secreted proforms and granule-stored mature forms and to extend the investigation to other related hematopoietic serine proteases. Conditioned media containing secreted proteases from transfectant cell lines with stable expression of human PR3, neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G, azurocidin, and granzymes A, B, H, K, and M were tested for their ability to reduce the fraction of normal human CFU-GM in S phase. Furthermore, recombinant PR3, azurocidin, and granzyme B with defined N-terminal propeptides, and the respective mature forms without propeptide, were functionally characterized. In addition to PR3, secreted proforms of azurocidin and granzymes A, B, H, K, and M, but not cathepsin G or neutrophil elastase, have S-phase reducing activity. This activity is restricted to the dipeptide proforms, whereas mature forms without propeptide have no S-phase reducing activity. On the other hand, only the mature forms of PR3 and granzyme B could bind the serine protease inhibitor diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP), or aprotinin in the case of azurocidin. We also demonstrate that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-stimulated CD34+ cells and interleukin-2-stimulated lymphocytes secrete active proforms of PR3 and granzyme B, respectively. These results demonstrate distinctive functional and conformational differences between proforms and mature forms of these hematopoietic serine proteases and suggest novel growth regulatory mechanisms in granulopoiesis.