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Eur J Biochem. 1994 Aug 1;223(3):765-73.

Identification of gastrin component I as gastrin-71. The largest possible bioactive progastrin product.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Gastrin component I is the largest hormonally active form of gastrin. In order to determine its structure, we isolated progastrin-derived peptides from normal human antral tissue. A radioimmunoassay specific for sequence 20-25 of human progastrin was developed to monitor the purifications. After four or five steps of reverse-phase chromatography, the peptides were pure and could be identified by a combination of microsequence, amino acid and mass spectral analysis as well as by a library of sequence-specific immunoassays. In addition to intact progastrin 1-80, fragments 1-71, 1-35, 6-35, 20-35, and 20-36 of progastrin were identified. Only the 71-amino-acid peptide contained at its C-terminus the alpha-amidated bioactive site (Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH2). This unoheptacontapeptide amide (gastrin-71) corresponds to component I and is the largest possible bioactive product of progastrin. Its structure shows that progastrin is used in its entirety for biosynthesis of active peptides. The occurrence of fragments 6-35, 20-35, and 20-36 demonstrate that antral progastrin is partially cleaved at two monobasic sites (Arg5 and Arg19) in addition to processing at the three C-terminal dibasic sites. The results show that both the N- and C-terminal parts of antral progastrin undergo extensive processing. The results also suggest that progastrin may follow two different processing pathways of which the less trafficked releases gastrin-71.

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