Chemotactic factors stimulate a rapid increase in the cytosolic concentration of intracellular calcium ions ([Ca2+]in) in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL), which may be an event that is critical to the expression of chemotaxis and other PMNL functions. Treatment of PMNL with pertussis toxin catalyzes ADP-ribosylation of a protein similar or identical to the inhibiting regulatory protein of adenylate cyclase, Gi, and suppresses the increase in [Ca2+]in elicited by leukotriene B4(LTB4) and formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. Chemotactic migration and lysosomal enzyme release elicited by chemotactic factors were inhibited by pertussis toxin with a concentration-dependence similar to that for inhibition of the increase in [Ca2+]in, without an effect on lysosomal enzyme release induced by the ionophore A23187 and phorbol myristate acetate. Activated pertussis toxin catalyzed the [32P]ADP-ribosylation of a 41 kD protein in homogenates of PMNL. The extent of [32P]ADP-ribosylation of this protein was reduced 59% by pretreatment of intact PMNL with pertussis toxin. Pertussis toxin selectively decreased the number of high-affinity receptors for LTB4 on PMNL by 60% without altering the number or binding properties of the low-affinity subset of receptors. Pertussis toxin modification of a membrane protein of PMNL analogous to Gi thus simultaneously alters chemotactic receptors and attenuates the changes in cytosolic calcium concentration and PMNL function caused by chemotactic factors.

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