We have investigated the intracellular localization and molecular identity of Rac-GTPase-activating proteins (Rac-GAPs) in human neutrophils. Immunoblot analysis detected the presence of both p190RhoGAP and Bcr mainly in the cytosol. An overlay assay performed with [γ-32P]GTP-bound Rac revealed dominant GAP activity related to a 50kDa protein both in the membrane and cytosol. This activity could be identified by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation with specific antibody directed against the GAP domain of p50RhoGAP. Using a semirecombinant or fully purified cell-free activation assay of the Rac-activated enzyme NADPH oxidase, we demonstrated the regulatory effect of both the membrane-localized and soluble GAPs. We suggest that in neutrophil granulocytes Rac-GAPs have redundant function and represent suitable targets for both the up-regulation and down-regulation of the NADPH oxidase.
These authors contributed equally to this work.