A soluble form of the Mer receptor tyrosine kinase inhibits macrophage clearance of apoptotic cells and platelet aggregation

Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado at Denver, and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 03/2007; 109(3):1026-33. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-05-021634
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Membrane-bound receptors generate soluble ligand-binding domains either by proteolytic cleavage of the extracellular domain or alternative mRNA splicing yielding a secreted protein. Mertk (Mer) is in a receptor tyrosine kinase family with Axl and Tyro-3, and all 3 receptors share the Gas6 ligand. Mer regulates macrophage activation, promotes apoptotic cell engulfment, and supports platelet aggregation and clot stability in vivo. We have found that the membrane-bound Mer protein is cleaved in the extracellular domain via a metalloproteinase. The cleavage results in the production of a soluble Mer protein released in a constitutive manner from cultured cells. Significant amounts of the soluble Mer protein were also detected in human plasma, suggesting its physiologic relevance. Cleavage of Mer was enhanced by treatment with LPS and PMA and was specifically inhibited by a tumor necrosis factor alpha-converting enzyme metalloproteinase inhibitor. As a decoy receptor for Gas6, soluble Mer prevented Gas6-mediated stimulation of membrane-bound Mer. The inhibition of Gas6 activity by soluble Mer led to defective macrophage-mediated engulfment of apoptotic cells. Furthermore, soluble Mer decreased platelet aggregation in vitro and prevented fatal collagen/epinephrine-induced thromboembolism in mice, suggesting a potential therapeutic use for soluble Mer in the treatment of clotting disorders.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The TAM-receptor tyrosine kinase family, Tyro3, Axl and Mer are key to apoptotic cell clearance. Reduced phagocytic clearance in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) leads to prolonged exposure of nuclear autoantigen to the immune system. Here we measure the levels of TAM receptors and the phagocytic capacity of monocytes and macrophages in juvenile-onset SLE (JSLE). Mer protein was measured on monocytes from JSLE, healthy control and JIA patients. JSLE, healthy control and JIA patients' plasma were analysed for soluble Mer (sMer), soluble Tyro3 (sTyro) and soluble Axl (sAxl). A phagocytosis assay measured the effect of JSLE serum on phagocytic potential of JSLE and control monocytes to engulf E. Coli bacteria and healthy macrophages to engulf apoptotic neutrophils. Mer receptor expression was significantly decreased on JSLE monocytes compared to healthy controls. Plasma sMer, sTyro and sAxl were significantly increased in JSLE patients compared to controls (p < 0.05). Adult healthy control macrophages had significantly decreased phagocytosis of E. Coli and apoptotic neutrophils in the presence of 10% JSLE serum compared to control serum (p < 0.05). JSLE patients have a decreased phagocytosis due to both serum and cell-derived factors. Significantly increased levels of sMer, sTyro3 and sAxl may be important factors contributing to the deficit in phagocytosis ability.
    Pediatric Rheumatology 04/2015; 13(1):10. DOI:10.1186/s12969-015-0007-y · 1.62 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6) is a newly discovered vitamin K-dependent protein, which is a ligand for TAM receptors [Tyro3 (Sky), Axl, and Mer] from the tyrosine kinase family. Gas6 knockout mice were resistant to venous and arterial thrombosis. There are contradictory reports on the presence of Gas6 and its receptors in mouse platelets. The objective of this study was to investigate whether Gas6 and its receptors were present in mouse platelets or not. Specific pathogen-free BALB/c male and female mice of 8-10 weeks old and 25-30 g in weight were anesthetized under light ether anesthesia and blood samples were taken from their hearts. RNAs were isolated from isolated platelets, and then mRNAs encoding Gas6 and TAM receptors were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Protein concentrations of Gas6 and TAM receptors in platelets were measured by ELISA, but not those of Mer, because of the absence of any commercial ELISA kit for mouse specimens. RT-PCR results indicated the presence of mRNAs encoding Gas6 and Mer in mouse platelets. However, although RT-PCR reactions were performed at various temperatures and cycles, we could not detect the presence of mRNAs encoding Axl and Tyro3 (Sky). Receptor protein levels of Axl and Tyro3 were below the detection limits of the ELISA method. We found the presence of mRNAs encoding Gas6 and the receptor Mer in mouse platelets, but not Axl and Tyro3. Gas6, Axl, and Tyro3 protein levels were below the detection limits of the ELISA. The presence of mRNA is not obvious evidence of protein expression in platelets that have no nucleus or DNA. Further studies are required to clarify the presence of Gas6/TAM receptors in platelets using real-time PCR and more sensitive immunological methods, and future studies on mechanisms will indicate whether the Gas6/TAM pathway is a strategy for treatment of disorders.
    Turkish Journal of Haematology 03/2015; 32(1):58-63. DOI:10.4274/tjh.2013.0097 · 0.34 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is commonly looked upon as a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall arising from an unbalanced lipid metabolism and a maladaptive inflammatory response. However, atherosclerosis is not merely an inflammation of the vessel wall. In fact, the cardinal signs of unstable atherosclerotic lesions are primarily characteristics of failed resolution of a chronic inflammation. In contrast to acute inflammatory events which are typically self-limiting, atherosclerosis is an unresolved inflammatory condition, lacking the switch from the pro-inflammatory to the pro-resolving phase, the latter characterized by termination of inflammatory cell recruitment, removal of inflammatory cells from the site of inflammation by apoptosis and dead cell clearance, reprogramming of macrophages toward an anti-inflammatory, regenerative phenotype, and finally egress of effector cells and tissue regeneration. Here we present an overview on mechanisms of failed resolution contributing to atheroprogression and deliver a summary of novel therapeutic strategies to restore resolution in inflamed arteries. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Seminars in Immunology 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.smim.2015.03.013 · 6.12 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Oct 16, 2014