Cathepsin G is a neutral serine protease that is highly expressed at the promyelocyte stage of myeloid development. We have developed a homologous recombination strategy to create a loss-of-function mutation for murine cathepsin G. Bone marrow derived from mice homozygous for this mutation had no detectable cathepsin G protein or activity, indicating that no other protease in bone marrow cells has the same specificity. Hematopoiesis in cathepsin G-/- mice is normal, and the mice have no overt abnormalities in blood clotting. Neutrophils derived from cathepsin G-/- mice have normal morphology and azurophil granule composition; these neutrophils also display normal phagocytosis and superoxide production and have normal chemotactic responses to C5a, fMLP, and interleukin-8. Although cathepsin G has previously shown to have broad spectrum antibiotic properties, challenges of mice with Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, or Escherichia coli yielded survivals that were not different from those of wild-type animals. In sum, cathepsin G-/- neutrophils have no obvious defects in function; either cathepsin G is not required for any of these normal neutrophil functions or related azurophil granule proteases with different specificities (ie, neutrophil elastase, proteinase 3, azurocidin, and/or others) can substitute for it in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4282-4293
Number of pages12
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 1999


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