Within 1 min of stimulation of human neutrophils by the chemotactic peptide (N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine) plus cytochalasin B, myeloperoxidase (together with other granule enzymes) was secreted and detected extracellularly. In contrast with the other granule constituents assayed (vitamin B12-binding protein and beta-glucuronidase), the activity of released myeloperoxidase rapidly decreased, so that, by 10 min after stimulation, only about 5% of the total cellular activity was detected. This inactivation was shown to be dependent on oxidant generation during the respiratory burst, since inactivation was not observed (a) after stimulation of anaerobic suspensions or (b) after release from neutrophils from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease; purified myeloperoxidase was rapidly inactivated after incubation with H2O2, presumably owing to the formation of an inactive enzyme-H2O2 complex. These results show that experiments designed to assess the role of myeloperoxidase in neutrophil functions which utilize assays based on peroxidase activity will grossly underestimate this enzyme if oxidant generation during the respiratory burst has also been activated.

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