Mast cell restricted mouse and human tryptase·heparin complexes hinder thrombin-induced coagulation of plasma and the generation of fibrin by proteolytically destroying fibrinogen

J Biol Chem. 2012 Mar 9;287(11):7834-44. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.325712. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


The mouse and human TPSB2 and TPSAB1 genes encode tetramer-forming tryptases stored in the secretory granules of mast cells (MCs) ionically bound to heparin-containing serglycin proteoglycans. In mice these genes encode mouse MC protease-6 (mMCP-6) and mMCP-7. The corresponding human genes encode a family of serine proteases that collectively are called hTryptase-β. We previously showed that the α chain of fibrinogen is a preferred substrate of mMCP-7. We now show that this plasma protein also is highly susceptible to degradation by hTryptase-β· and mMCP-6·heparin complexes and that Lys(575) is a preferred cleavage site in the protein α chain. Because cutaneous mouse MCs store substantial amounts of mMCP-6·heparin complexes in their secretory granules, the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction was induced in the skin of mMCP-6(+)/mMCP-7(-) and mMCP-6(-)/mMCP-7(-) C57BL/6 mice. In support of the in vitro data, fibrin deposits were markedly increased in the skin of the double-deficient mice 6 h after IgE-sensitized animals were given the relevant antigen. Fibrinogen is a major constituent of the edema fluid that accumulates in tissues when MCs degranulate. Our discovery that mouse and human tetramer-forming tryptases destroy fibrinogen before this circulating protein can be converted to fibrin changes the paradigm of how MCs hinder fibrin deposition and blood coagulation internally. Because of the adverse consequences of fibrin deposits in tissues, our data explain why mice and humans lack a circulating protease inhibitor that rapidly inactivates MC tryptases and why mammals have two genes that encode tetramer-forming serine proteases that preferentially degrade fibrinogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced
  • Anaphylaxis / enzymology
  • Anaphylaxis / genetics
  • Anaphylaxis / pathology
  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation*
  • Edema / enzymology
  • Edema / genetics
  • Edema / pathology
  • Fibrin / genetics
  • Fibrin / metabolism*
  • Fibrinogen / genetics
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism*
  • Heparin / genetics
  • Heparin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / enzymology*
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proteolysis*
  • Secretory Vesicles / enzymology*
  • Secretory Vesicles / genetics
  • Skin / enzymology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Thrombin / genetics
  • Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Tryptases / genetics
  • Tryptases / metabolism*


  • Tpsb2 protein, mouse
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Fibrin
  • Fibrinogen
  • Heparin
  • Thrombin
  • Tpsab1 protein, mouse
  • Tryptases