The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Pivotal role of mouse mast cell protease 4 in the conversion and pressor properties of Big-endothelin-1.

PMID 23596057


The serine protease chymase has been reported to generate intracardiac angiotensin-II (Ang-II) from Ang-I as well as an intermediate precursor of endothelin-1 (ET-1), ET-1 (1-31) from Big-ET-1. Although humans possess only one chymase, several murine isoforms are documented, each with its own specific catalytic activity. Among these, mouse mast cell protease 4 (mMCP-4) is the isoform most similar to the human chymase for its activity. The aim of this study was to characterize the capacity of mMCP-4 to convert Big-ET-1 into its bioactive metabolite, ET-1, in vitro and in vivo in the mouse model. Basal mean arterial pressure did not differ between wild-type (WT) and mMCP-4(-/-) mice. Systemic administration of Big-ET-1 triggered pressor responses and increased blood levels of immunoreactive (IR) ET-1 (1-31) and ET-1 that were reduced by more than 50% in mMCP-4 knockout (-/-) mice compared with WT controls. Residual responses to Big-ET-1 in mMCP-4(-/-) mice were insensitive to the enkephalinase/neutral endopeptidase inhibitor thiorphan and the specific chymase inhibitor TY-51469 {2-[4-(5-fluoro-3-methylbenzo[b]thiophen-2-yl)sulfonamido-3-methanesulfonylphenyl]thiazole-4-carboxylic acid}. Soluble fractions from the lungs, left cardiac ventricle, aorta, and kidneys of WT but not mMCP-4(-/-) mice generated ET-1 (1-31) from exogenous Big-ET-1 in a TY-51469-sensitive fashion as detected by high-performance liquid chromatography/ matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry. Finally, pulmonary endogenous levels of IR-ET-1 were reduced by more than 40% in tissues derived from mMCP-4(-/-) mice compared with WT mice. Our results show that mMCP-4 plays a pivotal role in the dynamic conversion of systemic Big-ET-1 to ET-1 in the mouse model.