Purification of monocyte-derived NAP-1/IL-8 by preparative reversed-phase (RP)-HPLC led to the detection of a second peak with polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL)-activating (degranulation, chemotaxis) properties. The monokine responsible for this biological activity, which we tentatively termed NAP-3, could be purified to homogeneity by three different RP-HPLC steps. Tricine-SDS-PAGE analysis gave a single line at Mr 5.3 kD (NAP-1/IL-8 = 5.8 kD). NH2-terminal amino acid sequence analysis read as a major sequence (ASVATELRXCXLQT. .), which shows greater than 40% homology to that of NAP-1/IL-8. The sequence is identical to that found for the 13-kD moiety of melanoma growth stimulating activity (MGSA) and the product of the oncogene gro. Determination of neutrophil chemotactic activity of NAP-3 revealed a typical bell-shaped dose-response curve (ED50 = 2 ng/ml) with no significant neutrophil chemotactic activity at doses greater than 200 ng/ml. Also, in cytochalasin B-pretreated PMNL, NAP-3 elicited release of myeloperoxidase and beta-glucuronidase. Crossdesensitization studies in PMNL enzyme release revealed crossreactivities with the NAP-1/IL-8-R on PMNL. NAP-3 (MGSA/gro) appears to represent the first member of the novel supergene family of beta-thromboglobulin-like host defense cytokines, which expresses both mitogenic as well as proinflammatory properties at the nanogram level.