Using recombinantly expressed proteins and synthetic peptides, we examined the structural/functional features of the platelet chemokines, neutrophil-activating peptide-2 (NAP-2) and platelet factor 4 (PF4); that were important in their activation of neutrophils. Previous studies with the chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) had shown that the N- terminal region preceding the first cysteine residue was critical in defining neutrophil-activating properties. We examined whether NAP-2 and PF4 had similar structural requirements. In the Ale-glu-leu-arg (AELR) N-terminus of NAP-2, substitution of E or R abolished Ca2+ mobilization and elastase secretion. Unlike the parent molecule PF4, AELR/PF4, the hybrid formed by replacing the N-terminal sequence of PF4 before the first cysteine residue with the homologous sequence of NAP- 2, stimulated Ca2+ mobilization and elastase secretion. Furthermore, the effect of amino acid substitutions in the ELR motif differed from those seen with NAP-2 in that conserved substitutions of E or R in NAP- 2 abolished activity, but only reduced neutrophil activation in the hybrid. These studies show that just as with IL-8, the N-termini of NAP- 2 and PF4 are critical for high-level neutrophil-activating function. Desensitization studies provided information on receptor binding. NAP- 2, which binds almost exclusively to the type 2 IL-8 receptor (IL-8R), did not desensitize neutrophils to activation by IL-8 because IL-8 could bind to and activate via both type 1 and 2 IL-8R. AELR/PF4 appears to bind to both types of receptors because it desensitized neutrophils to NAP-2 activation; but was not desensitized by NAP-2, and because it desensitized to and was desensitized by IL-8. Thus, although NAP-2 and AELR/PF4 share approximately 60% amino acid homology, they have different receptor affinities. Studies were performed to define the role of the C-termini of these platelet chemokines in receptor binding. Heparin and a monoclonal antibody specific for the heparin- binding domain of PF4 both inhibited Ca2+ mobilization and elastase release, further suggesting that the C-terminus of these chemokines is important in receptor binding. Synthetic NAP-2(51–70) failed to mobilize Ca2+, whereas PF4(47-–70) and PF4(58–70) induced Ca2+ mobilization and secretion of elastase at high concentrations. Pertussis toxin inhibited neutrophil activation by 40% to 50%, establishing a role for G-protein-coupled receptors such as the IL-8Rs in activation by the PF4 C-terminal peptides.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

This content is only available as a PDF.