Proteolytic conversion of single chain precursor macrophage-stimulating protein to a biologically active heterodimer by contact enzymes of the coagulation cascade

Ming Hai Wang, Teizo Yoshimura, Alison Skeel, Edward J. Leonard

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Human serum macrophage stimulating protein (MSP) is a disulfide-linked heterodimer that induces motile and phagocytic activity of mouse resident peritoneal macrophages. It is a member of the family of kringle proteins, which typically exist in extracellular fluid as single chain precursors that are activated by proteolytic cleavage. In this work, we expressed [35S]cysteine-labeled recombinant pro-MSP in MSP cDNA-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells and studied proteolytic processing of pro-MSP and the requirement of cleavage for biological activity. In media containing heat- inactivated fetal bovine serum, the protein was secreted as single chain pro- MSP, which was cleaved over a period of hours to the mature heterodimer. Cleavage was prevented by serine protease inhibitors such as leupeptin or aprotinin; it did not occur if cells were cultured in serum-free medium. Nanomolar concentrations of coagulation protease kallikrein, factor XIIa or factor XIa cleaved pro-MSP to MSP within 30 min. Pro-MSP had no biological activity. After cleavage by kallikrein, biological activity was quantitatively comparable to that of natural MSP isolated from human plasma. These results support our hypothesis that MSP circulates as the biologically inactive precursor and can be activated by enzymes of the intrinsic coagulation cascade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3436-3440
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 4 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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