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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 15;277(7):5468-75. Epub 2001 Dec 3.

Ym1 is a neutrophil granule protein that crystallizes in p47phox-deficient mice.

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Department of Medicine, University College London, London WC1E 6JJ, United Kingdom.


Crystals were discovered within the aged lung and at sites of chronic inflammation in a mouse model of chronic granulomatous disease. Following re-crystallization at neutral pH, the crystals were identified as the chitinase-like protein Ym1, expressed in organs of the lymphoreticular system, the lung, and distal stomach. Ym1 was shown to be a neutrophil granule protein and to have weak beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase activity, indicating that it might contribute to the digestion of glycosaminoglycans. Crystal formation is likely to be a function of excess neutrophil turnover at sites of inflammation in the chronic granulomatous disease mouse. Failure to remove subcutaneous Ym1 crystals injected into knockout mice indicates that a failure of digestion may also contribute to crystallization.

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