Progastrin is directed to the regulated secretory pathway by synergistically acting basic and acidic motifs

Jens R Bundgaard, Henrik Birkedal, Jens F Rehfeld


Bioactivation of prohormones occurs in the granules of the regulated secretory pathway of endocrine cells, which release hormones in response to external stimulation. How secretory granules are formed and how the cargo is selected is still unclear, but it has been shown for several prohormones and processing enzymes that domains within the prohormone structure can act as "sorting signals" for this pathway. The domains mediate interactions with other proteins or with the membrane or facilitate aggregation of the (pro)peptides. We have now searched for domains in progastrin that are active in sorting the prohormone into secretory granules. Truncation studies showed that the N-terminal 30 residues of progastrin are dispensable, whereas the last 49 residues are sufficient for correct biosynthesis of bioactive gastrin. Thus, further N-terminal truncation abolished gastrin expression. C-terminal truncation of 8 residues resulted in an increase in basal secretion as did point mutations in the dibasic processing sites of progastrin. These mutants, however, still responded to secretagogues, suggesting a residual sorting capacity to the regulated pathway. Amino acid substitutions in an acidic, polyglutamate motif within gastrin-17, the main bioactive, cellular gastrin form, did not alter secretion per se, but when these residues were substituted in C-terminally truncated mutants, double mutants increased in basal secretion and did not respond to secretagogue stimulation. This implies that the mutants are constitutively secreted. Our data suggest that the dibasic processing sites constitute the most important sorting domain of progastrin, and these sites act in synergy with the acidic domain.

TidsskriftJournal of Biological Chemistry
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)5488-93
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 13 feb. 2004
Udgivet eksterntJa


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