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J Immunol. 1992 Jul 15;149(2):643-8.

Eosinophil granule cationic proteins regulate complement. I. Activity on the alternative pathway.

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  • 1Iowa City VA Medical Center, Iowa City.


Eosinophil granules contain several cationic proteins that mediate tissue damage in allergic disease. The present study examined the capacity and mechanisms by which these cationic proteins regulate activity of the alternative pathway of C. Eosinophil peroxidase and eosinophil cationic protein inhibited formation of cell-bound alternative pathway C3 convertase, causing 50% inhibition of lysis at about 0.19 and 0.75 microgram/10(7) cellular intermediates, respectively. Major basic protein inhibited alternative pathway C3 activity by only 19% at 1.5 micrograms/10(7) cellular intermediates. Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin had no activity on the alternative pathway. The eosinophil granule proteins were examined for the mechanism by which they inhibited alternative pathway activity. Eosinophil peroxidase and major basic protein inhibited fluid phase factor B consumption in a reaction mixture that also contained factors D and C3b, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin had no activity on factor B consumption, and eosinophil cationic protein consumed factor B in the absence of C3b and factor D. Both eosinophil cationic protein and eosinophil peroxidase enhanced the decay of preformed alternative pathway convertase. Lysis of EAC4b,3b cellular intermediates formed to contain a low surface amount of C3b was more inhibited than was lysis of cells formed with a standard amount of C3b on the surface. This suggests that these eosinophil proteins acted predominantly on C3b to regulate alternative pathway activity. We also found that none of the eosinophil granule cationic proteins had any effect on later events after the formation of the C3 convertase. We conclude that although eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (isoelectric pH value (pI) = 8.9) does not regulate alternative pathway activity, the more highly charged eosinophil granule cationic proteins--major basic protein (pI = 10.9), eosinophil cationic protein (pI = 10.8), and eosinophil peroxidase (pI = 10.8)--do share the capacity to regulate C activity and may exert this activity in vivo.

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