Generation of biologically active C-reactive protein peptides by a neutral protease on the membrane of phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated neutrophils

E. G. Shephard, S. M. Beer, R. Anderson, A. F. Strachan, A. E. Nel, F. C. De Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The association of human C-reactive protein (CRP) with nonstimulated and PMA-stimulated human neutrophils and the concomitant degradation of CRP (monitored by TCA-soluble peptides and SDS-PAGE analysis) has been studied. Maximum association of 125I-labeled CRP with neutrophils and 125I-labeled CRP degradation during association with these cells was achieved by stimulating the neutrophils with PMA at 10 ng/ml; a concentration in which azurophil granule release was not significant. For PMA-stimulated neutrophils, the association of 125I-labeled CRP was 1.8 times higher and PMA-stimulated neutrophil-mediated degradation of the ligand was three times faster than that for nonstimulated cells. The neutrophil-associated 125I-labeled CRP in the absence and presence of PMA proved on SDS-PAGE analysis to be approximately 50% degraded. There was a positive correlation between the extent of CRP degradation and the association of 125I-labeled CRP with neutrophils. In addition to generation of neutrophil associated CRP intermediates, small soluble CRP peptides were generated during association of CRP with neutrophils. These peptides inhibited superoxide production from opsonized zymonan-activated neutrophils by approximately 40% at 10 μg/ml. 125I-labeled CRP degradation mediated by nonstimulated neutrophils, and neutrophil-conditioned medium (from both non-stimulated and PMA-stimulated cells) was inhibitable by α1-antitrypsin and approximately seven times less at 1 h than that occurring during 125I-labeled CRP-association with PMA-stimulated neutrophils. The degradation of 125I-labeled CRP mediated by PMA-stimulated neutrophils was not fully inhibitable by α1-antitrypsin. The data point to the involvement of a membrane-associated serine protease, which is maximally activated by PMA, in the degradation of 125I-labeled CRP during association with neutrophils. Our results indicate that at an inflammatory site CRP-derived peptides can be produced that inhibit the action of activated neutrophils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2974-2981
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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