Acute-Phase Protein α1-Antitrypsin--A Novel Regulator of Angiopoietin-like Protein 4 Transcription and Secretion.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) (2014)


2014, Clinical Research Division, May 2014


The angiopoietin-like protein 4 (angptl4, also known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor [PPAR]γ-induced angiopoietin-related protein) is a multifunctional protein associated with acute-phase response. The mechanisms accounting for the increase in angptl4 expression are largely unknown. This study shows that human α1-antitrypsin (A1AT) upregulates expression and release of angplt4 in human blood adherent mononuclear cells and in primary human lung microvascular endothelial cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Mononuclear cells treated for 1 h with A1AT (from 0.1 to 4 mg/ml) increased mRNA of angptl4 from 2- to 174-fold, respectively, relative to controls. In endothelial cells, the maximal effect on angptl4 expression was achieved at 8 h with 2 mg/ml A1AT (11-fold induction versus controls). In 10 emphysema patients receiving A1AT therapy (Prolastin), plasma angptl4 levels were higher relative to patients without therapy (nanograms per milliliter, mean [95% confidence interval] 127.1 [99.5-154.6] versus 76.8 [54.8-98.8], respectively, p = 0.045) and correlated with A1AT levels. The effect of A1AT on angptl4 expression was significantly diminished in cells pretreated with a specific inhibitor of ERK1/2 activation (UO126), irreversible and selective PPARγ antagonist (GW9662), or genistein, a ligand for PPARγ. GW9662 did not alter the ability of A1AT to induce ERK1/2 phosphorylation, suggesting that PPARγ is a critical mediator in the A1AT-driven angptl4 expression. In contrast, the forced accumulation of HIF-1α, an upregulator of angptl4 expression, enhanced the effect of A1AT. Thus, acute-phase protein A1AT is a physiological regulator of angptl4, another acute-phase protein.