Human serum macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP) induces motile activity of murine resident peritoneal macrophages and is a growth and motility factor for epithelial cells. It belongs to the plasminogen-related family of kringle proteins, and is secreted as a single-chain, 78-kDa, biologically inactive pro-MSP. Proteolytic cleavage of pro-MSP at a single site yields active MSP, a disulfide-linked alphabeta-chain heterodimer. However cleavage of recombinant pro-MSP yielded not only the disulfide-linked heterodimer, but also free alpha- and beta-chains, indicating that some of the recombinant molecules lacked an alphabeta-chain disulfide. We purified the free chains for characterization. The beta-chain of MSP has three extra cysteines, Cys527, Cys562, and Cys672, which are not found in the plasminogen beta-chain. Disulfide bond analysis showed a Cys527-Cys562, but also a Cys588-Cys672. Coopting Cys588 by Cys672 prevented the expected formation of a disulfide between alpha-chain Cys468 and beta-chain Cys588. Concomitant studies determined structures of oligosaccharides at the three Asn-linked glycosylation sites of MSP. The oligosaccharides at the three Asn loci are heterogeneous; 11 different sugars were identified, all being sialylated fucosyl biantennary structures. We also located the pro-MSP signal peptide cleavage site at Gly18-Gln19 and the scissile bond for formation of mature MSP at Arg483-Val484.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.