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The two neutrophil members of the formylpeptide receptor family activate the NADPH-oxidase through signals that differ in sensitivity to a gelsolin derived phosphoinositide-binding peptide

Huamei Fu1*, Lena Björkman1, Paul Janmey2, Anna Karlsson1, Jennie Karlsson1, Charlotta Movitz3 and Claes Dahlgren1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, University of Göteborg, Sweden

2 Department of Physiology, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19063 USA

3 Department of Virology, University of Göteborg, Sweden

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2004, 5:50  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-5-50

Published: 29 December 2004



The formylpeptide receptor family members FPR and FPRL1, expressed in myeloid phagocytes, belong to the G-protein coupled seven transmembrane receptor family (GPCRs). They share a high degree of sequence similarity, particularly in the cytoplasmic domains involved in intracellular signaling. The established model of cell activation through GPCRs states that the receptors isomerize from an inactive to an active state upon ligand binding, and this receptor transformation subsequently activates the signal transducing G-protein. Accordingly, the activation of human neutrophil FPR and FPRL1 induces identical, pertussis toxin-sensitive functional responses and a transient increase in intracellular calcium is followed by a secretory response leading to mobilization of receptors from intracellular stores, as well as a release of reactive oxygen metabolites.


We report that a cell permeable ten amino acid peptide (PBP10) derived from the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) binding region of gelsolin (an uncapper of actin filaments) blocks granule mobilization as well as secretion of oxygen radicals. The inhibitory effect of PBP10 is, however, receptor specific and affects the FPRL1-, but not the FPR-, induced cellular response. The transient rise in intracellular calcium induced by the active receptors is not affected by PBP10, suggesting that the blockage occurs in a parallel, novel signaling pathway used by FPRL1 to induce oxygen radical production and secretion. Also the FPR can activate neutrophils through a PBP10-sensitive signaling pathway, but this signal is normally blocked by the cytoskeleton.


This study demonstrates that the two very closely related chemoattractant receptors, FPR and FPRL1, use distinct signaling pathways in activation of human neutrophils. The PIP2-binding peptide PBP10 selectively inhibits FPRL1-mediated superoxide production and granule mobilization. Furthermore, the activity of this novel PBP10 sensitive pathway in neutrophils is modulated by the actin cytoskeleton network.