Send to

Choose Destination
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Jun;113(6):1086-92.

Expression of alpha-tryptase and beta-tryptase by human basophils.

Author information

Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, PO Box 980263, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.



Alpha and beta-tryptase levels in serum are clinical tools for the evaluation of systemic anaphylaxis and systemic mastocytosis. Basophils and mast cells are known to produce these proteins.


The current study examines the effect of the alpha,beta-tryptase genotype on basophil tryptase levels and the type of tryptase stored in these cells.


Tryptase extracted from purified peripheral blood basophils from 20 subjects was examined by using ELISAs measuring mature and total tryptase and by using an enzymatic assay with tosyl-Gly-Pro-Lys-p-nitroanilide. Tryptase genotypes (4:0, 3:1, and 2:2 beta/alpha ratios) were assessed by using a hot-stop PCR technique with alpha,beta-tryptase-specific primers. Total alpha,beta-tryptase mRNA was measured by means of competitive RT-PCR, and ratios of alpha to beta-tryptase mRNA were measured by means of hot-stop RT-PCR.


Tryptase in all but one of the basophil preparations was mature and enzymatically active. Tryptase quantities in basophils were less than 1% of those in tissue mast cells. Tryptase genotypes (beta/alpha) among the 20 donors were 4:0 in 7, 3:1 in 7, and 2:2 in 6. Tryptase protein and mRNA levels per basophil were not affected by the tryptase genotype.


Basophils from healthy subjects contain modest amounts of mature and enzymatically active tryptase unaffected by the tryptase genotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center