Human eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) was purified from leukocytes obtained from a patient with hypereosinophilia. EPO was extracted from the granule fraction using 0.2 mol/L sodium acetate pH 4.0, and the extract was subjected to gel chromatography on Sephadex G-75 and ion exchange chromatography on Biorex 70. The mol wt calculated from gel chromatography was approximately 50,000. However, under reducing and denaturing conditions, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed two subunits with mol wt of 50,000 and 15,000. The biosynthesis of EPO was studied in marrow cells from patients with eosinophilia using labeling with (14C)-leucine, followed by immunoprecipitation with anti-EPO, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and fluorography for visualization of labeled EPO. Biosynthesis of an Mr 53,000 subunit was demonstrated. Biosynthetic labeling of the Mr 15,000 subunit was not demonstrated. A labeled Mr 25,000 chain was detected and may represent a degradation product or a chain that, after further modification, produces the Mr 15,000 subunit. Labeling was also detected in two polypeptides with mol wt of 78,000 and 72,000. These forms of EPO seem to represent precursor polypeptides subjected to proteolytic processing in a similar manner as has been reported for myeloperoxidase (MPO). However, Monensin, a proton ionophore, which blocks the processing of MPO, did not inhibit processing of EPO, indicating separate mechanisms by which MPO and EPO are directed to granules.

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