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Neuropeptides. 1993 Jul;25(1):19-30.

Processing, release and metabolism of cholecystokinin in SK-N-MCIXC cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724.


The human cholinergic neuroepithelioma cell line SK-N-MCIXC, which expresses high levels of cholecystokinin (CCK) mRNA and secretes intact CCK into the media, was used to examine CCK processing and metabolism. Our data provide evidence for the existence of specific candidate processing enzymes in SK-N-MCIXC cells which may be involved in processing proCCK in the brain and indicate that SK-N-MCIXC cells provide a model system for studying the regulation of these enzymes. mRNAs for the intracellular processing enzymes, prohormone convertase 1 (PC1), PC2 and furin were present in SK-N-MCIXC cells. PC1 and/or PC2 and/or furin may cleave at the dibasic amino acid pairs Arg-Arg at the C-terminal part of proCCK, and Arg-X-X-Arg at the N-terminal of the CCK-58 sequence in proCCK. The SK-N-MCIXC cell line demonstrated spontaneous and regulated release of CCK and large amounts of CCK-precursors, as measured with region specific radioimmunoassays coupled to high performance liquid chromatography. Storage granules containing glycine-extended CCK were shown in SK-N-MCIXC cells using indirect immunofluorescence. The extracellularly localized CCK-metabolizing enzyme, neutral endopeptidase 24.11 (EC, was present in membranes from both SK-N-MCIXC cells and in intact slices of rat cerebral cortex. The rat cerebral cortex is a brain region known to be rich in CCK. The SK-N-MCIXC cell line provides an in vitro model to study the regulation of CCK synthesis and metabolism in neuronal systems since it contains the storage granules, mRNA, intact peptide, and complement of enzymes necessary for biosynthesis and metabolism of CCK.

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