Carboxypeptidases are proteases that cleave single amino acids from the carboxy termini of proteins or peptides. In addition to degradative functions in the gut, carboxypeptidases activate or inactivate bioactive peptides such as angiotensin, bradykinin, and endothelin I. Using differential display PCR, we cloned a novel carboxypeptidase expressed in human macrophages but not in other leukocytes. The 476-amino-acid gene product has a putative signal sequence but no transmembrane domain and has striking sequence similarity to serine carboxypeptidases, a large family of enzymes in eukaryotes. Only one serine carboxypeptidase, lysosomal protective protein, has previously been reported in mammals. Among known proteins, this gene is most similar (43% amino acid identity) to vitellogenic carboxypeptidase, a serine carboxypeptidase expressed in mosquito ovaries. Therefore, we have named this new gene carboxypeptidase, vitellogenic-like (CPVL). In addition to monocyte/macrophage-rich sources such as spleen, leukocytes, and placenta, CPVL mRNA is abundantly expressed in heart and kidney, suggesting a separate role for CPVL outside the immune system. The CPVL gene contains at least 13 exons spread over more than 150 kb on human chromosome 7p14-p15. An affinity-purified polyclonal antiserum recognized a protein of approximately 57 kDa in macrophage lysates, but not in lysates from lymphocytes, neutrophils, or monocytes. CPVL protein expression was induced during maturation of monocytes into macrophages. Possible functions for CPVL in macrophages include digestion of phagocytosed particles in the lysosome, participation in an inflammatory protease cascade, and trimming of peptides for antigen presentation.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.