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

The regulated cell surface zymogen activation of the proprotein convertase PC5A directs the processing of its secretory substrates.

The proprotein convertases are synthesized as zymogens that acquire activity upon autocatalytic removal of their NH(2)-terminal prosegment. Based on the convertase furin, to fold properly and gain activity, the convertases PC5A, PACE4, and PC7 are presumed to undergo two sequential prosegment cleavages in the endoplasmic reticulum and then in the trans-Golgi network. However, biochemical and immunocytochemical experiments revealed that mouse PC5A is complexed to its prosegment at the plasma membrane. This labeling is lost upon treatment with heparin and is increased by overexpressing members of the syndecan family and CD44, suggesting attachment of secreted PC5A-prosegment complex to heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Following stimulation of Y1 cells with adrenocorticotropic hormone or 8-bromo-cyclic AMP, the cell surface labeling of the prosegment of PC5A is greatly diminished, whereas the signal for mature PC5A is increased. Moreover, after stimulation, the protease activity of PC5A is enhanced, as evidenced by the cleavage of the PC5A substrates Lefty, ADAMTS-4, endothelial lipase, and PCSK9. Our data suggest a novel mechanism for PC5A activation and substrate cleavage at the cell surface, through a regulated removal of its prosegment. A similar mechanism may also apply to the convertase PACE4, thereby extending our knowledge of the molecular details of the zymogen activation and functions of these heparan sulfate proteoglycan-bound convertases.[1]


  1. The regulated cell surface zymogen activation of the proprotein convertase PC5A directs the processing of its secretory substrates. Mayer, G., Hamelin, J., Asselin, M.C., Pasquato, A., Marcinkiewicz, E., Tang, M., Tabibzadeh, S., Seidah, N.G. J. Biol. Chem. (2008) [Pubmed]
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