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J Biol Chem. 1984 Dec 10;259(23):14537-43.

The enzyme that cleaves apolipoprotein A-II upon in vitro incubation of human plasma high-density lipoprotein-3 with blood polymorphonuclear cells is an elastase.


The proteolytic activity directed against apolipoprotein A-II (apo-A-II) which is released from human blood polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) when they are incubated with human plasma high-density lipoprotein-3 (HDL3) was studied to assess the properties and site specificity of the enzyme. When 125I-apo-A-II-labeled HDL3 was incubated with the PMN protease at 37 degrees C, a complete cleavage of apo-A-II was observed which paralleled the formation of bands of approximately 11,000 and 7,000 daltons by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The 7,000-dalton component had the following N-terminal sequence: NH2-Thr-Asp-Tyr-Gly-Lys-Asp-Leu-Met-Glu-Lys. This corresponds to residues 19 through 28 of the intact apo-A-II monomer. Methoxysuccinyl (MeO-Suc)-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-chloromethylketone-(CH2Cl) caused a 90% inhibition of apo-A-II hydrolysis at the highest concentration tested (6 X 10(-4)M). Besides apo-A-II, the PMN enzyme also hydrolyzed a synthetic substrate, MeO-Suc-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-4-nitroanilide and its 4-methylcoumaryl-7-amide analogue. The protease appeared to have a mass of 28,000 daltons as assessed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the [3H]diisopropylfluorophosphate-labeled PMN enzyme. That the PMN enzyme which cleaves apo-A-II is an elastase was derived from the following criteria: 1) cleavage at the Val-X bond in apo-A-II and in the two synthetic substrates studied; 2) prevention of the cleavage by MeO-Suc-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-CH2Cl, a known specific elastase inhibitor; and 3) a mass comparable to that reported for a pure PMN elastase. These studies establish that apolipoproteins can be suitable substrates for enzymes of the elastase family.

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