Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Natural killer cell cytolytic granule-associated enzymes. I. Purification, characterization, and analysis of function of an enzyme with sulfatase activity.

PMID 1861083


An enzyme with sulfatase activity has been isolated from the granules of a rat NK leukemia cell line, CRNK-16. The enzyme has been purified from crude preparation, with a specific activity of 52 nmol/min/mg of protein, by DEAE ion exchange and Con A-Sepharose affinity chromatography, resulting in a specific activity of 230 nmol/min/mg of protein. The molecular mass of the purified enzyme was estimated to be 40 kDa by gel filtration chromatography at pH 7.4, but the enzyme had the ability to complex to molecular masses of greater than 300 kDa at low pH when crude granule extract was used as the starting sample, suggesting that it associates with other granule components. The enzyme was determined to be an arylsulfatase by its ability to (a) hydrolyze p-nitrophenyl sulfate (Km = 26.0 mM) and p-nitrocatechol sulfate (pNC sulfate) (Km = 1.1 mM) and (b) be inhibited by sulfite (Ki = 6.0 x 10(-7) M), sulfate (Ki = 1 x 10(-3) M), and phosphate (Ki = 4 x 10(-5) M) in a competitive manner. The pH optimum for enzymatic activity was determined to be 5.6. The role of this enzyme in cytolytic function was investigated by examining the effect of its substrates and inhibitors on granule- and cell-mediated lysis. pNC sulfate was shown to cause a dose-dependent inhibition of target cell lysis by isolated cytolytic granules (complete inhibition at 12.5 mM). Sulfite induced an incomplete inhibition (50% at 1 mM), whereas phosphate was essentially without inhibitory effect. Sulfate, on the other hand, altered lytic activity in a biphasic manner, inasmuch as it induced an inhibition of lysis at high concentrations and an increase of lysis at low concentrations. Cell-mediated lysis was inhibited by pNC sulfate in a dose-dependent fashion at concentrations greater than 2.5 mM, with nearly complete inhibition at 50 mM. Sulfate also altered the lytic activity by intact cells in a biphasic manner, although the effect was much less pronounced. Sulfite and phosphate caused only a 30% inhibition of lytic activity. These results suggest that the sulfatase enzyme is involved in NK cytolytic function, presumably at the lethal hit stage.

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Potassium 4-nitrophenyl sulfate, sulfatase substrate