Murine alpha-macroglobulins demonstrate divergent activities as neutralizers of transforming growth factor-beta and as inducers of nitric oxide synthesis. A possible mechanism for the endotoxin insensitivity of the alpha2-macroglobulin gene knock-out mouse
Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:271 issue:40 pages:24982-8
alpha2-Macroglobulin null mice demonstrate increased resistance to endotoxin challenge (Umans, L., Serneels, L., Overbergh, L., Van Leuven, F., and Van den Berghe, H. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 19778-19785). We hypothesized that this phenotype might reflect the function of murine alpha2M (malpha2M) as a neutralizer of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and inducer of nitric oxide synthesis in vivo. When incubated with wild-type mouse plasma, TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta2 bound only to malpha2M. Alternative TGF-beta-binding proteins were not detected in plasma from alpha2M(-/-) mice. Wild-type mouse plasma, but not plasma from alpha2M(-/-) mice, inhibited TGF-beta1 binding to TGF-beta receptors on fibroblasts. Purified malpha2M bound TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta2 with similar affinity; the KD values were 28 +/- 4 and 33 +/- 4 nM, respectively. Murinoglobulin, the second murine alpha-macroglobulin, bound both TGF-beta isoforms with 30-fold lower affinity. Malpha2M counteracted the activities of TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta2 in an endothelial cell growth assay. Malpha2M also induced NO synthesis when incubated with RAW 264.7 cells, an activity which probably results from the neutralization of autocrine TGF-beta activity. Human alpha2M induced NO synthesis comparably to malpha2M; however, MUG had no effect. These studies demonstrate that the ability to neutralize TGF-beta is a property of malpha2M, which is not redundant in the murine alpha-macroglobulin family or in murine plasma. Malpha2M is the only murine alpha-macroglobulin that promotes NO synthesis. The absence of malpha2M, in alpha2M(-/-) mice, may allow TGF-beta to more efficiently suppress excessive iNOS expression following endotoxin challenge.