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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 26;279(48):50274-9. Epub 2004 Sep 22.

Absence of the major zymogen granule membrane protein, GP2, does not affect pancreatic morphology or secretion.

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Department of Medicine, Satnford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The majority of digestive enzymes in humans are produced in the pancreas where they are stored in zymogen granules before secretion into the intestine. GP2 is the major membrane protein present in zymogen granules of the exocrine pancreas. Numerous studies have shown that GP2 binds digestive enzymes such as amylase, thereby supporting a role in protein sorting to the zymogen granule. Other studies have suggested that GP2 is important in the formation of zymogen granules. A knock-out mouse was generated for GP2 to study the impact of the protein on pancreatic function. GP2-deficient mice displayed no gross signs of nutrient malab-sorption such as weight loss, growth retardation, or diarrhea. Zymogen granules in the GP2 knock-out mice appeared normal on electron microscopy and contained the normal complement of proteins excluding GP2. Primary cultures of pancreatic acini appropriately responded to secretagogue stimulation with the secretion of digestive enzymes. The course of experimentally induced pancreatitis was also examined in the knock-out mice because proteins known to associate with GP2 have been found to possess a protective role. When GP2 knock-out mice were subjected to two different models of pancreatitis, no major differences were detected. In conclusion, GP2 is not essential for pancreatic exocrine secretion or zymogen granule formation. It is unlikely that GP2 serves a major intracellular role within the pancreatic acinar cell and may be functionally active after it is secreted from the pancreas.

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