Azurophilic granules of human neutrophilic leukocytes are deficient in lysosome-associated membrane proteins but retain the mannose 6-phosphate recognition marker

A. M. Cieutat, P. Lobel, J. T. August, L. Kjeldsen, H. Sengeløv, N. Borregaard, D. F. Bainton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During granulocyte differentiation in the bone marrow (BM), neutrophilic leukocyte precursors synthesize large amounts of lysosomal enzymes. These enzymes are sequestered into azurophilic storage granules until used days later for digestion of phagocytized microorganisms after leukocyte emigration to inflamed tissues. This azurophil granule population has previously been defined as a primary lysosome, ie, a membrane-bound organelle containing acid hydrolases that have not entered into a digestive event. In this study, azurophil granules were purified and shown to contain large amounts of mannose 6-phosphate-containing glycoproteins (Man 6-P GP) but little lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP). In addition, the fine structural localization of Man 6-P GP and LAMP was investigated at various stages of maturation in human BM and blood. Man 6-P GP were present within the azurophilic granules at all stages of maturation and in typical multivesicular bodies (MVB) as well as in multilaminar compartments (MLC), identified by their content of concentric arrays of internal membranes. LAMP was absent in all identified granule populations, but was consistently found in the membranes of vesicles, MVB, and MLC. The latter compartment has not been previously described in this cell type. In conclusion, the azurophilic granules, which contain an abundance of lysosomal enzymes and Man 6-P GP, lack the LAMP glycoproteins. By current criteria, they therefore cannot be classified as lysosomes, but rather may have the functional characteristics of a regulated secretory granule. Rather, the true lysosomes of the resting neutrophil are probably the MVB and MLC. Finally, the typical 'dense bodies' or mature lysosomes described in other cells are not present in resting neutrophils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1058
Number of pages15
JournalBlood
Volume91
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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