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Peptides. 2006 Oct;27(10):2508-14. Epub 2006 Aug 9.

Differential processing of pro-neurotensin/neuromedin N and relationship to pro-hormone convertases.

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INSERM U732, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Hopital St. Antoine, 184 rue du Faubourg St. Antoine, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, France.


Neurotensin (NT) is synthesized as part of a larger precursor that also contains neuromedin N (NN), a six amino acid neurotensin-like peptide. NT and NN are located in the C-terminal region of the precursor (pro-NT/NN) where they are flanked and separated by three Lys-Arg sequences. A fourth dibasic sequence is present in the middle of the precursor. Dibasics are the consensus sites recognized and cleaved by endoproteases that belong to the recently identified family of pro-protein convertases (PCs). In tissues that express pro-NT/NN, the three C-terminal Lys-Arg sites are differentially processed, whereas the middle dibasic is poorly cleaved. Pro-NT/NN processing gives rise mainly to NT and NN in the brain, to NT and a large peptide ending with the NN sequence at its C-terminus (large NN) in the gut and to NT, large NN and a large peptide ending with the NT sequence (large NT) in the adrenals. Recent evidence indicates that PC1, PC2 and PC5-A are the pro-hormone convertases responsible for the processing patterns observed in the gut, brain and adrenals, respectively. As NT, NN, large NT and large NN are all endowed with biological activity, the evidence reviewed here supports the idea that post-translational processing of pro-NT/NN in tissues may generate biological diversity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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