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J Lab Clin Med. 1989 Dec;114(6):728-33.

Functional importance of cystic fibrosis immunoglobulin G fragments generated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.


We examined the functional importance of immunoglobulin polypeptide fragments generated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (Pseudomonas elastase). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the elastase produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa cleaves human IgG into immune fragments that functionally inhibit opsonophagocytosis. Our results confirm that IgG isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) incubated with purified pseudomonas elastase results in the generation of two major polypeptide fragments and that, furthermore, these fragments significantly inhibit bacterial uptake by human neutrophils. After 75 minutes bacterial uptake was six times greater when intact IgG was used as an opsonin (uptake 90.2% +/- 18.6% SEM) compared with a IgG was used as an opsonin (uptake 90.2% +/- 18.6% SEM) compared with a mixture of pseudomonas-lipopolysaccharide-reactive Fab and F(ab')2 fragments generated by pseudomonas elastase (uptake 15.4% +/- 0.8% SEM, p less than 0.001). Hydrolyzed CF IgG antibodies consistently resulted in a level of bacterial uptake less than that of normal saline negative controls (NS): (at 10 minutes, NS 26.6% vs CF 16.8%, p less than 0.05; at 75 minutes, NS 28.2% vs CF 15.4%, p less than 0.01. This suggests that the immune polypeptides are active inhibitors of the essential neutrophil phagocyte-bacterial cell interaction. Intact immune IgG reversed the defect in opsonophagocytosis. When intact IgG was mixed with IgG fragments the phagocytic rates increased directly with increasing amounts of intact IgG. We conclude that the elastase exoproduct secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is capable of cleaving IgG into functionally important fragments that inhibit bacterial uptake. Furthermore, this inhibition can be overcome by increasing amounts of a commercially available preparation of intact immune IgG.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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