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

Chymotrypsin C (caldecrin) stimulates autoactivation of human cationic trypsinogen.

Trypsin-mediated trypsinogen activation (autoactivation) facilitates digestive zymogen activation in the duodenum but may precipitate pancreatitis if it occurs prematurely in the pancreas. Autoactivation of human cationic trypsinogen is inhibited by a repulsive electrostatic interaction between the unique Asp(218) on the surface of cationic trypsin and the conserved tetra-aspartate (Asp(19-22)) motif in the trypsinogen activation peptide (Nemoda, Z., and Sahin-Tóth, M. (2005) J. Biol. Chem. 280, 29645-29652). Here we describe that this interaction is regulated by chymotrypsin C (caldecrin), which can specifically cleave the Phe(18)-Asp(19) peptide bond in the trypsinogen activation peptide and remove the N-terminal tripeptide. In contrast, chymotrypsin B, elastase 2A, or elastase 3A (proteinase E) are ineffective. Autoactivation of N-terminally truncated cationic trypsinogen is stimulated approximately 3-fold, and this effect is dependent on the presence of Asp(218). Because chymotrypsinogen C is activated by trypsin, and chymotrypsin C stimulates trypsinogen activation, these reactions establish a positive feedback mechanism in the digestive enzyme cascade of humans. Furthermore, inappropriate activation of chymotrypsinogen C in the pancreas may contribute to the development of pancreatitis. Consistent with this notion, the pancreatitis-associated mutation A16V in cationic trypsinogen increases the rate of chymotrypsin C-mediated processing of the activation peptide 4-fold and causes accelerated trypsinogen activation in vitro.[1]


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