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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The two-step conversion of big endothelin 1 to endothelin 1 and degradation of endothelin 1 by subcellular fractions from human polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

The metabolism of big endothelin 1 (bET) and endothelin 1 (ET-1) by subcellular fractions from human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) was investigated by bioassay and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. More than 80% of endothelin-converting activity was recovered from the cytosolic fraction, which in addition to ET-1 generated other peptides from bET. The processing of bET to all its metabolites including ET-1 was prevented by the serine protease inhibitor 3,4-dichloroisocoumarin ( DCI; 50 microM) or the elastase inhibitor ONO-5046 (100 microM) but not by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF; 143 microM), another serine protease inhibitor. Paradoxically, human leukocyte elastase, despite generating a bET fragmentation pattern similar to that of PMN cytosol, produced very little ET-1. However, subsequent treatment of the elastase-derived metabolites of bET with PMN cytosol in the presence of ONO-5046 dramatically increased the amount of ET-1 formed. The generation of ET-1 following this intervention was inhibited by DCI. The PMN membrane preparation degraded ET-1 to a major metabolite, similar to that produced from ET-1 by elastase, and several minor products, paralleled by a loss of its smooth muscle contracting activity. The degradation of ET-1 by PMN microsomes was prevented by DCI, PMSF, or ONO-5046. Our results suggest that an elastase-initiated serine protease cascade is responsible for the sequential conversion of bET to ET-1 by the PMN cytosol. Elastase also partly accounts for the ET-metabolizing properties of PMN microsomes.[1]


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