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J Biol Chem. 1991 Oct 25;266(30):20316-22.

Molecular cloning of the mouse mast cell protease-5 gene. A novel secretory granule protease expressed early in the differentiation of serosal mast cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


cDNAs were isolated that encode mouse mast cell protease-5 (MMCP-5), an approximately 30,000 Mr serine protease stored in the secretory granules of serosal mast cells (SMC) and Kirsten sarcoma virus-immortalized mast cells. Based on the deduced amino acid sequences of these cDNAs, MMCP-5 is synthesized as a 247-amino acid preproenzyme composed of a novel 19-residue hydrophobic signal peptide, a Gly-Glu activation peptide not present in other mast cell chymases, and a 226-amino acid protein that represents the mature enzyme. MMCP-5 possesses a unique Asn residue in the substrate binding cleft at residue 176 and is highly basically charged. The MMCP-5 gene was isolated, sequenced, and found to belong to a distinct subset of chymase genes. Allelic variations of the MMCP-5 gene were also detected. MMCP-5 is expressed in bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC), Kirsten sarcoma virus-immortalized mast cells, and SMC, but not in gastrointestinal mucosal mast cells of helminth-infected mice. The abundant levels of MMCP-5 mRNA in immature BMMC indicate that this chymase is expressed relatively early during the differentiation of mast cells. MMCP-5 is the first chymase to be molecularly cloned from progenitor mast cells and is also the first chymase shown to be expressed preferentially in the SMC subclass.

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