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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 May 5;1547(1):64-71.

A processing enzyme cleaving avian progastrin at post-Phe bonds.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet (National University Hospital), Copenhagen, Denmark.


Neuroendocrine peptides mature partly through endoproteolytic processing of long precursor forms. Best characterised is cleavage at mono- and dibasic residues, but additional sites also exist. Among these is post-Phe cleavage, first suggested to participate in the processing of chicken progastrin. In order to characterise this new mechanism, antibodies recognising the processing products of post-Phe cleavage of chicken progastrin were produced for radioimmunoassay measurements and immunocytochemistry. High concentrations of the carboxyamidated C-terminus and the N-terminus of gastrin-53 were measured in extracts of the antrum. In addition, significant amounts were detected using an assay specific for the N-terminus of gastrin-30 and with another assay for the C-terminus of the corresponding peptide, gastrin-53(1-23), obtained after cleavage at the Phe(23)-Ala(24) bond of gastrin-53. Colocalisation in antral G-cells of the N-termini of gastrin-53 and gastrin-30 and of the C-terminus of gastrin-53(1-23) was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Finally, we identified the intact N-terminal 1-23 fragment of gastrin-53 complementary to gastrin-30, verifying endoproteolytic cleavage at the Phe(23)-Ala(24) bond. Taken together, the results support the existence of vertebrate endoprotease cleaving hormone precursors at post-Phe sites.

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