Structural requirements and mechanism for heparin-induced activation of a recombinant mouse mast cell tryptase, mouse mast cell protease-6: formation of active tryptase monomers in the presence of low molecular weight heparin
Hallgren, J.; Spillmann, D.; Pejler, G.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 276(46): 42774-42781
Mast cell tryptase is stored as an active tetramer in complex with heparin in mast cell secretory granules. Previously, we demonstrated the dependence on heparin for the activation/tetramer formation of a recombinant tryptase. Here we have investigated the structural requirements for this activation process. The ability of heparin-related saccharides to activate a recombinant murine tryptase, mouse mast cell protease-6 (mMCP-6), was strongly dependent on anionic charge density and size. The dose-response curve for heparin-induced mMCP-6 activation displayed a bell-shaped appearance, indicating that heparin acts by binding to more than one tryptase monomer simultaneously. The minimal heparin oligosaccharide required for binding to mMCP-6 was 8-10 saccharide units. Gel filtration analyses showed that such short oligosaccharides were unable to generate tryptase tetramers, but instead gave rise to active mMCP-6 monomers. The active monomers were inhibited by bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, whereas the tetramers were resistant. Furthermore, monomeric (but not tetrameric) mMCP-6 degraded fibronectin. Our results suggest a model for tryptase tetramer formation that involves bridging of tryptase monomers by heparin or other highly sulfated polysaccharides of sufficient chain length. Moreover, our results raise the possibility that some of the reported activities of tryptase may be related to active tryptase monomers that may be formed according to the mechanism described here.