New insights into the molecular complexity of the ghrelin gene locus.
ABSTRACT Ghrelin is a multi-functional peptide hormone that affects a range of processes, including growth hormone and insulin release, appetite regulation, reproduction, and cancer cell proliferation. The main focus of this review is to advance the hypothesis that the ghrelin gene locus encodes an array of biologically active molecules in addition to ghrelin and is far more complex than currently appreciated. Alternative splicing and the use of alternative post-translational cleavages sites may give rise to novel ghrelin gene-derived peptides that potentially act through different receptors and have novel biological functions.
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ABSTRACT: Among the factors playing a crucial role in the regulation of energy metabolism, gastro-intestinal peptides are essential signals to maintain energy homeostasis as they relay to the central nervous system the informations about the nutritional status of the body. Among these factors, preproghrelin is a unique prohormone as it encodes ghrelin, a powerful GH secretagogue and the only orexigenic signal from the gastrointestinal tract and obestatin, a proposed functional ghrelin antagonist. These preproghrelin-derived peptides may contribute to balance energy intake, metabolism and body composition by regulating the activity of the GH/IGF-1 axis and appetite. Whereas the contribution of ghrelin has been well characterized, the role of the more recently identified obestatin, in this regulatory process is still controversial. In this chapter, we describe the contribution of these different preproghrelin-derived peptides and their receptors in the regulation of GH secretion and feeding. Data obtained from pharmacological approaches, mutant models and evaluation of the hormones in animal and human models are discussed.Peptides 04/2011; 32(11):2274-82. · 2.43 Impact Factor
Article: A novel human ghrelin variant (In1-ghrelin) and ghrelin-O-acyltransferase are overexpressed in breast cancer: potential pathophysiological relevance.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The human ghrelin gene, which encodes the ghrelin and obestatin peptides, contains 5 exons (Ex), with Ex1-Ex4 encoding a 117 amino-acid (aa) preproprotein that is known to be processed to yield a 28-aa (ghrelin) and/or a 23-aa (obestatin) mature peptides, which possess biological activities in multiple tissues. However, the ghrelin gene also encodes additional peptides through alternative splicing or post-translational modifications. Indeed, we previously identified a spliced mRNA ghrelin variant in mouse (In2-ghrelin-variant), which is regulated in a tissue-dependent manner by metabolic status and may thus be of biological relevance. Here, we have characterized a new human ghrelin variant that contains Ex0-1, intron (In) 1, and Ex2 and lacks Ex3-4. This human In1-ghrelin variant would encode a new prepropeptide that conserves the first 12aa of native-ghrelin (including the Ser3-potential octanoylation site) but has a different C-terminal tail. Expression of In1-variant was detected in 22 human tissues and its levels were positively correlated with those of ghrelin-O-acyltransferase (GOAT; p = 0.0001) but not with native-ghrelin expression, suggesting that In1-ghrelin could be a primary substrate for GOAT in human tissues. Interestingly, levels of In1-ghrelin variant expression in breast cancer samples were 8-times higher than those of normal mammary tissue, and showed a strong correlation in breast tumors with GOAT (p = 0.0001), ghrelin receptor-type 1b (GHSR1b; p = 0.049) and cyclin-D3 (a cell-cycle inducer/proliferation marker; p = 0.009), but not with native-ghrelin or GHSR1a expression. Interestingly, In1-ghrelin variant overexpression increased basal proliferation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Taken together, our results provide evidence that In1-ghrelin is a novel element of the ghrelin family with a potential pathophysiological role in breast cancer.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23302. · 4.09 Impact Factor