Neuropeptides are generally produced from precursor proteins by selective cleavage at specific sites, usually involving basic amino acids. Enzymes such as the prohormone convertases and carboxypeptidase E are highly specific for these basic amino acid-containing sites. In addition to this "traditional" pathway, several neuropeptides are known to be cleaved at non-basic sites, and the enzymes responsible for these cleavages have not been conclusively identified. In a recent search for novel members of the metallocarboxypeptidase family, we found three human genes. One of these, named "CPA-5," has a specificity for C-terminal hydrophobic amino acids and mRNA expression in brain, pituitary, and testis. To test whether CPA-5 protein has a distribution pattern in pituitary that is consistent with a role for this enzyme in the non-basic processing of proopiomelanocortin-derived peptides such as beta-endorphin and adrenocorticotropin, we examined the distribution of CPA-5 using immunocytochemistry. In the pituitary, CPA-5 is detected in the neurointermediate lobe and in scattered cells in the anterior lobe. In the AtT-20 corticotroph cell line, CPA-5 has a perinuclear distribution. Taken together, these results are consistent with a role for CPA-5 in the intracellular processing of proopiomelanocortin-derived peptides at non-basic sites.
- Carboxypeptidase A-5
- Carboxypeptidase E
- Enkephalin convertase
- Peptide processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)