Human recombinant interferon-inducible protein-10 (rIP-10), a C-X-C chemokine, inhibits proliferation of human hematopoietic progenitors responsive to co-stimulation by recombinant steel factor (rSLF), is chemotactic for human monocytes and T-lymphocytes, and promotes T-lymphocyte adhesion to endothelial cells. Because chemokines have four conserved cysteines forming two intramolecular disulfide bridges, we decided to investigate their contribution in the biological activity of rIP-10. Since amino acid residues 22-98 of the sequence predicted by the cDNA constitute the naturally occurring IP-10, they were cloned after an initiating methionine into expression vector pET-3d. Subsequently rIP-10 was purified by enzymatic cell lysis, solubilization of refractile bodies with guanidine hydrochloride, renaturation by dialysis against dilute acetic acid, and sequential ion-exchange and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Purified rIP-10 was reduced with 20 mM dithiothreitol, and chemically modified with 100 mM iodoacetamide (IAA), or S-methyl-methanethiosulfonate (MMTS), or N-methylmaleimide (NMM). Radiolabeling experiments demonstrated that 95% of the rIP-10 thiols were modified, and this was confirmed with SDS-PAGE. The biological activity of modified rIP-10 was determined in vitro by inhibition of rSLF-responsive human bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor proliferation and by chemotaxis assays using human T-lymphocytes and monocytes. In both assay systems, the biological activity was evident at rIP-10 concentrations of 20-100 ng/ml. The activity was preserved after modification of rIP-10 by IAA or MMTS, but was abolished after modification by NMM. We conclude that disulfide bridges are not essential for the biological activity of rIP-10.
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