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Blood. 1999 Dec 1;94(11):3633-43.

Human signal-regulatory protein is expressed on normal, but not on subsets of leukemic myeloid cells and mediates cellular adhesion involving its counterreceptor CD47.

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University of Tübingen, the Department of Internal Medicine II, Tübingen, Germany.


Signal-regulatory proteins (SIRPs) comprise a novel transmembrane glycoprotein family involved in the negative regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase-coupled signaling pathways. To analyze the expression and function of SIRPs, we prepared soluble recombinant fusion proteins of the extracellular regions of SIRPalpha1 and SIRPalpha2, as well as a variety of monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) against these domains. The antibodies reacted predominantly with monocytes, granulocytes, dendritic cells, and their precursors, as well as with bone marrow CD34(+), AC133(+), CD90(+) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. In contrast, SIRP expression was absent or significantly reduced on the majority of myeloid blasts from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Functional studies showed that the extracellular domains of SIRPalpha1 and SIRPalpha2 support adhesion of a number of primary hematopoietic cells and cell lines. This interaction could be blocked by 4 of 7 SIRPalpha1-reactive MoAbs. In addition, SIRPalpha1 and SIRPalpha2 competed for the same cell binding site, suggesting a common widely expressed SIRP ligand. In an approach to identify this molecule, MoAbs were generated against the SIRP-binding cell line CCRF-CEM, and MoAb CC2C6 was selected because of its capacity to inhibit cell binding to SIRPalpha1. Further analysis showed that this antibody recognized CD47, a ubiquitously expressed plasma membrane protein previously implicated in integrin function, host defense action, and neutrophil migration. In this study, we identify CD47 as the extracellular ligand for human SIRP and show that these two counterreceptors are involved in cellular adhesion.

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