Mast Cells pp 325-337 | Cite as

Induction of Mast Cell Apoptosis by a Novel Secretory Granule-Mediated Pathway

  • Fabio R. Melo
  • Sara Wernersson
  • Gunnar PejlerEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1220)


Mast cells (MCs) have detrimental functions in the context of numerous pathologies, and regimens aimed at neutralizing MCs or individual MC products can thus be of therapeutic value. One way to target MCs in disease is to selectively induce MC apoptosis, but there is so far no agent available that selectively induces apoptosis in MCs. Mast cells are heavily loaded with secretory granules containing large amounts of fully active proteases bound to serglycin proteoglycan. Damage to the secretory granules will thus lead to the release of serglycin-protease complexes into the cytosol. A potential consequence of this would be that the unleashed granular proteases cause apoptosis by proteolytic activation of proapoptotic compounds located in the cytosol. Indeed, we have recently found that MCs are highly sensitive to apoptosis induced by permeabilization of the secretory granules. In this chapter, we describe the methods used to study MC apoptosis induced by this novel, secretory granule-mediated pathway.

Key words

Mast cells Apoptosis Proteases Granules Caspases 



Acridine orange


3-[(3-Cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate hydrate


Dimethyl sulfoxide




Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid


Fluorescein isothiocyanate


4-(2-Hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid


Lactate dehydrogenase




Acridine orange 10-nonyl bromide


Propidium iodide


Piperazine-N,N′-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid


Rhodamine 110


Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Z-Asp(O-Me)-Glu(O-Me)-Val-Asp(O-Me) fluoromethyl ketone


N-Benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp(O-Me) fluoromethyl ketone



The authors of this article receive support from The Swedish Research Council, Formas, King Gustaf V 80-year Anniversary Fund, Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, The Vårdal Foundation, The Swedish Society of Medicine, Åke Wiberg Foundation, Konsul Th C Bergh Foundation, and The Swedish Cancer Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio R. Melo
    • 1
  • Sara Wernersson
    • 1
  • Gunnar Pejler
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Physiology and BiochemistrySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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