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Pflugers Arch. 2018 Jan;470(1):143-154. doi: 10.1007/s00424-017-2027-6. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Chromogranins: from discovery to current times.

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Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. Karen.Helle@biomed.uib.
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale, Strasbourg, France.
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, Arcavata de Rende, Italy.


The discovery in 1953 of the chromaffin granules as co-storage of catecholamines and ATP was soon followed by identification of a range of uniquely acidic proteins making up the isotonic vesicular storage complex within elements of the diffuse sympathoadrenal system. In the mid-1960s, the enzymatically inactive, major core protein, chromogranin A was shown to be exocytotically discharged from the stimulated adrenal gland in parallel with the co-stored catecholamines and ATP. A prohormone concept was introduced when one of the main storage proteins collectively named granins was identified as the insulin release inhibitory polypeptide pancreastatin. A wide range of granin-derived biologically active peptides have subsequently been identified. Both chromogranin A and chromogranin B give rise to antimicrobial peptides of relevance for combat of pathogens. While two of the chromogranin A-derived peptides, vasostatin-I and pancreastatin, are involved in modulation of calcium and glucose homeostasis, respectively, vasostatin-I and catestatin are important modulators of endothelial permeability, angiogenesis, myocardial contractility, and innate immunity. A physiological role is now evident for the full-length chromogranin A and vasostatin-I as circulating stabilizers of endothelial integrity and in protection against myocardial injury. The high circulating levels of chromogranin A and its fragments in patients suffering from various inflammatory diseases have emerged as challenges for future research and clinical applications.


Catestatin; Chromogranin A; Chromogranin B; Inflammatory diseases; Physiological roles; Vasostatin-I

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