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

Fibronectin degradation products containing the cytoadhesive tetrapeptide stimulate human neutrophil degranulation.

We investigated whether adhesive glycoproteins, such as fibronectin or fibrinogen, could function to provide a nidus for neutrophil degranulation. Elastase release in recalcified plasma was normal in afibrinogenemic plasma, but 73% less in plasma depleted of fibronectin. Proteolytic digests of fibronectin, but not intact fibronectin (50-1,000 micrograms/ml), induced a concentration-dependent release of neutrophil elastase and lactoferrin. MAbs N293, which recognized the mid-molecule of fibronectin, N294, which was directed toward the 11-kD cell adhesive fragment, and N295, generated against the amino terminal of the 11-kD fragment, inhibited the release of elastase by 7, 24, and 60%, respectively. The cytoadhesive tetrapeptide portion of fibronectin, Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (250-1,000 micrograms/ml), released 1.94 +/- 0.10 micrograms/ml of elastase from 10(7) neutrophils, in contrast to the lack of release by the control hexapeptide, Arg-Gly-Tyr-Ser-Leu-Gly. Plasmin appeared to be the enzyme responsible for fibronectin cleavage, since neutrophil elastase release in plasma that had been depleted of plasminogen was decreased and reconstitution of plasminogen-deficient plasma with purified plasminogen corrected the abnormal release. Plasmin cleaved fibronectin to multiple degradation products, each less than 200 kD. This fibronectin digest released 1.05 microgram/ml of elastase from 10(7) neutrophils. We suggest that the activation of plasminogen leads to the formation of fibronectin degradation products capable of functioning as agonists for neutrophils.[1]


  1. Fibronectin degradation products containing the cytoadhesive tetrapeptide stimulate human neutrophil degranulation. Wachtfogel, Y.T., Abrams, W., Kucich, U., Weinbaum, G., Schapira, M., Colman, R.W. J. Clin. Invest. (1988) [Pubmed]
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