Damage to interstitial connective tissue is associated with the rapid accumulation of monocytes and neutrophils at the site of injury. To study the role of collagen fragments in neutrophil migration, we analyzed the chemotactic properties of peptide fragments of bovine collagen digested with bacterial collagenase or cyanogen bromide and small molecular weight synthetic polypeptides containing proline (Pro), hydroxyproline (Hyp), and glycine (Gly), the major amino acids that comprise collagen. Using the Boyden chamber and under agarose techniques, we found that collagen fragments were as potent in inducing chemotaxis in neutrophils as the bacterial-derived peptide f-met-leu-phe. The synthetic polytripeptides (Pro-Pro-Gly)5 and (Pro-Hyp-Gly)5 were found to be equipotent in inducing chemotaxis, producing a maximal induction of chemotaxis at 5-10 nM. This suggests that Hyp, the unique imino acid found in collagen, is not required for chemotactic activity. Increasing the length of the synthetic tripeptide from 5 to 10 subunits decreased its chemotactic activity, while the single tripeptide subunit (Pro-Hyp-Gly)1 was the least active peptide, inducing a maximal response at 100 nM. To study the structural requirements for chemotaxis, Pro-Hyp-Gly tripeptides were synthesized with modifications at the N and C termials ends. Addition of a methyl group to the carboxyl of Gly to form an ester enhanced the chemotactic activity of the peptide by 50%, while substitutions on the amino terminus with an acetyl group decreased the chemotactic activity by 50%. Substitution on the amino terminus with a Boc group decreased the chemotactic activity by 100%. These results indicate that there are specific structural requirements for chemotaxis induced by peptides having a collagen-like sequence of amino acids.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cell Biology