A soluble form of the Mer receptor tyrosine kinase inhibits macrophage clearance of apoptotic cells and platelet aggregation
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.
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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
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ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis occurs in the subendothelial space (intima) of medium-sized arteries at regions of disturbed blood flow and is triggered by an interplay between endothelial dysfunction and subendothelial lipoprotein retention. Over time, this process stimulates a nonresolving inflammatory response that can cause intimal destruction, arterial thrombosis, and end-organ ischemia. Recent advances highlight important cell biological atherogenic processes, including mechanotransduction and inflammatory processes in endothelial cells, origins and contributions of lesional macrophages, and origins and phenotypic switching of lesional smooth muscle cells. These advances illustrate how in-depth mechanistic knowledge of the cellular pathobiology of atherosclerosis can lead to new ideas for therapy. © 2015 Tabas et al.The Journal of Cell Biology 04/2015; 209(1):13-22. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201412052 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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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