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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered proglucagon processing in an alpha-cell line derived from prohormone convertase 2 null mouse islets.

The endoproteolytic processing of proproteins in the secretory pathway depends on the expression of selected members of a family of subtilisin-like endoproteases known as the prohormone convertases (PCs). The main PC family members expressed in mammalian neuroendocrine cells are PC2 and PC1/3. The differential processing of proglucagon in pancreatic alpha-cells and intestinal L cells leads to production of distinct hormonal products with opposing physiological effects from the same precursor. Here we describe the establishment and characterization of a novel alpha-cell line (alphaTC-DeltaPC2) derived from PC2 homozygous null animals. The alphaTC-DeltaPC2 cells are shown to be similar to the well characterized alphaTC1-6 cell line in both morphology and overall gene expression. However, the absence of PC2 activity in alphaTC-DeltaPC2 leads to a complete block in the production of mature glucagon. Surprisingly, alphaTC-DeltaPC2 cells are able to efficiently cleave the interdomain site in proglucagon (KR 70-71). Further analysis reveals that alphaTC-DeltaPC2 cells, unlike alphaTC1-6 cells, express low levels of PC1/3 that lead to the generation of glicentin as well as low amounts of oxyntomodulin, GLP-1, truncated GLP-1, and N-terminally extended GLP-2. We conclude that alphaTC-DeltaPC2 cells provide additional evidence for PC2 as the major convertase in alpha-cells leading to mature glucagon production and provide a robust model for further analysis of the mechanisms of proprotein processing by the prohormone convertases.[1]


  1. Altered proglucagon processing in an alpha-cell line derived from prohormone convertase 2 null mouse islets. Webb, G.C., Dey, A., Wang, J., Stein, J., Milewski, M., Steiner, D.F. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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