Soluble Signal Inhibitory Receptor on Leukocytes-1 Is Released from Activated Neutrophils by Proteinase 3 Cleavage

Helen J von Richthofen, Geertje H A Westerlaken, Doron Gollnast, Sjanna Besteman, Eveline M Delemarre, Karlijn Rodenburg, Petra Moerer, Daphne A C Stapels, Anand K Andiappan, Olaf Rötzschke, Stefan Nierkens, Helen L Leavis, Louis J Bont, Suzan H M Rooijakkers, Linde Meyaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Signal inhibitory receptor on leukocytes-1 (SIRL-1) is an immune inhibitory receptor expressed on human granulocytes and monocytes that dampens antimicrobial functions. We previously showed that sputum neutrophils from infants with severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis have decreased SIRL-1 surface expression compared with blood neutrophils and that SIRL-1 surface expression is rapidly lost from in vitro activated neutrophils. This led us to hypothesize that activated neutrophils lose SIRL-1 by ectodomain shedding. Here, we developed an ELISA and measured the concentration of soluble SIRL-1 (sSIRL-1) in patients with RSV bronchiolitis and hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which are both characterized by neutrophilic inflammation. In line with our hypothesis, sSIRL-1 concentration was increased in sputum compared with plasma of patients with RSV bronchiolitis and in serum of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 compared with control serum. In addition, we show that in vitro activated neutrophils release sSIRL-1 by proteolytic cleavage and that this diminishes the ability to inhibit neutrophilic reactive oxygen species production via SIRL-1. Finally, we found that SIRL-1 shedding is prevented by proteinase 3 inhibition and by extracellular adherence protein from Staphylococcus aureus. Notably, we recently showed that SIRL-1 is activated by PSMα3 from S. aureus, suggesting that S. aureus may counteract SIRL-1 shedding to benefit from preserved inhibitory function of SIRL-1. In conclusion, we report that SIRL-1 is released from activated neutrophils by proteinase 3 cleavage and that endogenous sSIRL-1 protein is present in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Bronchiolitis/metabolism
  • COVID-19/metabolism
  • Myeloblastin
  • Neutrophils
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Leukocytes/metabolism


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