To further examine the physiological roles of the neuroendocrine prohormone convertases (PCs) in proglucagon processing, αTC1-6 cells were transiently transfected with PC1/3 and PC2 expression vectors containing either antisense or sense encoding cDNAs. PC1/3- and PC2-directed RIAs were used to determine that the PC1/3 antisense transfections lowered endogenous levels of PC1/3 by 40 ± 7.9% but did not alter the levels of PC2. The PC2 antisense transfections decreased the endogenous levels of PC2 by 91 ± 11.7% without affecting the levels of PC1/3. To quantitate the levels of proglucagon and proglucagon-derived products, transfected cells were metabolically labeled with [3H]tryptophan, and extracts were chromatographed by reversed-phase HPLC. Recovered peptides were then subjected to peptide mapping analyses, allowing precise quantification of 3H-radioactivity incorporated into proglucagon and its cleavage products. Product-precursor ratios were determined, and percent change in the proportion of products generated in antisense-transfected vs. sense-transfected cells was calculated. The decrease in PC1/3 after antisense treatment significantly reduced the amounts of glicentin produced and partially reduced the levels of all other proglucagon cleavage products. PC2 antisense treatment significantly reduced the levels of glicentin and 9K glucagon generated but had no significant effect on the remainder of the proglucagon-derived peptides. These results suggest the existence of redundant mechanisms that ensure the production of each of the intermediate and product peptides derived from proglucagon. PC1/3 is potentially an important enzyme in the processing of most proglucagon-derived peptides, whereas PC2-processing activity appears to predominate at only two of the four potential cleavage sites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology