Carboxyl-Terminal Cleavage of Apolipoprotein A-I by Human Mast Cell Chymase Impairs Its Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Objective—Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) has been shown to possess several atheroprotective functions, including inhibition of inflammation. Protease-secreting activated mast cells reside in human atherosclerotic lesions. Here we investigated the effects of the neutral proteases released by activated mast cells on the anti-inflammatory properties of apoA-I.
Approach and Results—Activation of human mast cells triggered the release of granule-associated proteases chymase, tryptase, cathepsin G, carboxypeptidase A, and granzyme B. Among them, chymase cleaved apoA-I with the greatest efficiency and generated C-terminally truncated apoA-I, which failed to bind with high affinity to human coronary artery endothelial cells. In tumor necrosis factor-α–activated human coronary artery endothelial cells, the chymase-cleaved apoA-I was unable to suppress nuclear factor-κB–dependent upregulation of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and to block THP-1 cells from adhering to and transmigrating across the human coronary artery endothelial cells. Chymase-cleaved apoA-I also had an impaired ability to downregulate the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8 in LPS-activated GM-Mac and M-Mac human macrophage foam cells and to inhibit reactive oxygen species formation in PMA-activated human neutrophils. Importantly, chymase-cleaved apoA-I showed reduced ability to inhibit LPS-induced inflammation in vivo in mice. Treatment with chymase blocked the ability of the apoA-I mimetic peptide L-4F, but not of the protease-resistant D-4F, to inhibit proinflammatory gene expression in activated human coronary artery endothelial cells and macrophage foam cells and to prevent reactive oxygen species formation in activated neutrophils.
Conclusions—The findings identify C-terminal cleavage of apoA-I by human mast cell chymase as a novel mechanism leading to loss of its anti-inflammatory functions. When targeting inflamed protease-rich atherosclerotic lesions with apoA-I, infusions of protease-resistant apoA-I might be the appropriate approach.
- Received March 21, 2014.
- Accepted November 18, 2015.
- © 2015 The Authors.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDervis License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited, the use is noncommercial, and no modifications or adaptations are made.