Recombinant human activated protein C inhibits integrin-mediated neutrophil migration

Gwendolyn F. Elphick, Pranita P. Sarangi, Young-Min Hyun, Joseph A. Hollenbaugh, Alfred Ayala, Walter L. Biffl, Hung-Li Chung, Alireza R. Rezaie, James L. McGrath, David J. Topham, Jonathan S. Reichner and Minsoo Kim


Integrin-mediated cell migration is central to many biologic and pathologic processes. During inflammation, tissue injury results from excessive infiltration and sequestration of activated leukocytes. Recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) has been shown to protect patients with severe sepsis, although the mechanism underlying this protective effect remains unclear. Here, we show that rhAPC directly binds to β1 and β3 integrins and inhibits neutrophil migration, both in vitro and in vivo. We found that human APC possesses an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence, which is critical for the inhibition. Mutation of this sequence abolished both integrin binding and inhibition of neutrophil migration. In addition, treatment of septic mice with a RGD peptide recapitulated the beneficial effects of rhAPC on survival. Thus, we conclude that leukocyte integrins are novel cellular receptors for rhAPC and the interaction decreases neutrophil recruitment into tissues, providing a potential mechanism by which rhAPC may protect against sepsis.

  • Submitted September 24, 2008.
  • Accepted February 13, 2009.
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