Exp Mol Med.  2012 Feb;44(2):130-137. 10.3858/emm.2012.44.2.008.

Identification of novel peptides that stimulate human neutrophils

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea. yoesik@skku.edu
  • 2Mitochondria Hub Regulation Center, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan 602-714, Korea.
  • 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Yeungnam University, Daegu 705-030, Korea.
  • 4Department of Hematology-Oncology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443-721, Korea.


Neutrophils play a key role in innate immunity, and the identification of new stimuli that stimulate neutrophil activity is a very important issue. In this study, we identified three novel peptides by screening a synthetic hexapeptide combinatorial library. The identified peptides GMMWAI, MMHWAM, and MMHWFM caused an increase in intracellular Ca2+ in a concentration-dependent manner via phospholipase C activity in human neutrophils. The three peptides acted specifically on neutrophils and monocytes and not on other non-leukocytic cells. As a physiological characteristic of the peptides, we observed that the three peptides induced chemotactic migration of neutrophils as well as stimulated superoxide anion production. Studying receptor specificity, we observed that two of the peptides (GMMWAI and MMHWFM) acted on formyl peptide receptor (FPR)1 while the other peptide (MMHWAM) acted on FPR2. Since the three novel peptides were specific agonists for FPR1 or FPR2, they might be useful tools to study FPR1- or FPR2-mediated immune response and signaling.


calcium; chemotaxis; neutrophils; peptide library; peptides; receptors, formyl peptide
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