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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jun;34(6):647-52. Epub 2006 Mar 16.

A peptide against the N-terminus of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate inhibits degranulation of human leukocytes in vitro.

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The National Chuushin Matsumoto Hospital, Matsumoto, Japan.


Leukocytes synthesize a variety of inflammatory mediators that are packaged and stored in the cytoplasm within membrane-bound granules. Upon stimulation, the cells secrete the granule contents via an exocytotic process whereby the granules translocate to the cell periphery, the granule membranes fuse with the plasma membrane, and the granule contents are released extracellularly. We have reported previously that another exocytotic process, release of mucin by secretory cells of the airway epithelium, is regulated by the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) (Li Y, Martin LD, Spizz G, Adler KB. MARCKS protein is a key molecule regulating mucin secretion by human airway epithelial cells in vitro. J Biol Chem 2001;276:40982-40990; Singer M, Martin LD, Vargaftig BB, Park J, Gruber AD, Li Y, Adler KB. A MARCKS-related peptide blocks mucus hypersecretion in a mouse model of asthma. Nat Med 2004;10:193-196). In those studies, mucin secretion in vitro and in vivo was attenuated by a synthetic peptide identical to the N-terminus of MARCKS, named the MANS peptide (Li and colleagues, 2001). In this study, we used the MANS peptide to investigate possible involvement of MARCKS in secretion of leukocyte granule proteins. In neutrophils isolated from human blood, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-induced myeloperoxidase release was attenuated in a concentration-dependent manner by MANS but not by equal concentrations of a missense control peptide. In additional studies using human leukocyte cell lines, secretion of eosinophil peroxidase from the eosinophil-like cell line HL-60 clone 15, lysozyme from the monocytic leukemia cell line U937, and granzyme from the lymphocyte natural killer cell line NK-92 were attenuated by preincubation of the cells with MANS but not with the missense control peptide. The results indicate that MARCKS protein may play an important role in the secretion of membrane-bound granules from different leukocytes. MARCKS may be an important component of secretory pathways associated with release of granules by different cell types.

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