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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2012 May 1;176(3):341-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.11.021. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Nucleobindins: bioactive precursor proteins encoding putative endocrine factors?

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Laboratory of Integrative Neuroendocrinology, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The nucleobindins, nucleobindin 1 (NUCB1) and nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2), are homologous multidomain calcium and DNA binding proteins. NUCB1 is a well-characterized Golgi protein found within the rat pituitary, liver and kidney with functions related to immunity, calcium homeostasis and G protein signaling. NUCB2 is found both in the hypothalamus and brain stem centers, as well as peripherally in the digestive tract. Renewed interest in the nucleobindins has been sparked by the recent discovery of nesfatin-1, an endocrine factor post-translationally processed from the N-terminal of NUCB2. Nesfatin-1 has quickly established itself as a novel regulator of appetite, insulin secretion, energy homeostasis and reproduction with important consequences to the etiology of metabolic diseases including diabetes and obesity. The discovery of nesfatin-1 and it endocrine functions attracted more attention to the nucleobindins that are already known to have important intracellular functions. From the sequence information available, it is possible that nucelobindins itself or nesfatin-1 like peptides within the NUCB1 could also elicit nesfatin-1-like biological functions. The research on nesfatin-1 in last 5years further adds to the importance of nucleobindins as potential endocrine precursors. This review aims to summarize some of the most recent findings on the functional significance of NUCB1, NUCB2, as well as encoded proteins and highlights the questions that remain unanswered.

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