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Table 3 Biologic activities of human eosinophil granule proteins

From: Biomarkers of the involvement of mast cells, basophils and eosinophils in asthma and allergic diseases

Granule protein Biologic activities
Major Basic Protein (MBP) Helminthotoxin and cytotoxin; bactericidal, platelet agonist; causes histamine release from basophils and rat mast cells; neutralizes heparin; increases bronchial reactivity to methacholine; provokes bronchospasm; activates neutrophils
Major Basic Protein-2 (MBP-2) Cytotoxin; causes histamine release and LTC4 release from basophils; causes superoxide and IL-8 release from neutrophils
Eosinophil Cationic Protein (ECP) Helminthotoxin, neurotoxin, weak RNase activity, bactericidal, virucidal; inhibits cultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes; causes histamine release from rat mast cells; neutralizes heparin, alters fibrinolysis
Eosinophil –Derived Neurotoxin (EDN) Neurotoxin, RNase activity, virucidal, weak helminthotoxin; inhibits cultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes; same as eosinophil protein X
Eosinophil Peroxidase (EPX) In presence of H2O2 plus halide: kills microorganisms and tumor cells; causes histamine release and degranulation from rat mast cells; inactivates leukotrienes in absence of H2O2 plus halide; kills Brugia microfilariae; damages respiratory epithelium; provokes bronchospasm in primates. Generates reactive oxidants and free radicals