26 Citations (Scopus)


Heart muscle cells produce peptide hormones such as natriuretic peptides. Developing hearts also express the gene for the classic intestinal hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) in amounts similar to those in the intestine and brain. However, cardiac expression of peptides other than natriuretic peptides has only been suggested using transcriptional measures or methods, with the post-translational phase of gene expression unaddressed. In this study, we examined the cardiac expression of the CCK gene in adult mammals and its expression at the protein level. Using quantitative PCR, a library of sequence-specific pro-CCK assays, peptide purification, and mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that the mammalian heart expresses pro-CCK in amounts comparable to natriuretic prohormones and processes it to a unique, triple-sulfated, and N-terminally truncated product distinct from intestinal and cerebral CCK peptides. Isoprenaline rapidly stimulated cardiac CCK gene expression in vitro and in vivo, which suggests that the cardiac-specific truncated pro-CCK may have pathophysiological relevance as a new marker of heart failure. The suggestion is confirmed by measurement of plasma from heart failure patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)6837-43
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2015


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Cell Line
  • Cholecystokinin
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Heart Failure
  • Humans
  • Isoproterenol
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myocytes, Cardiac
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Precursors
  • Rats
  • Swine


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