[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide neurotransmitter whose production requires proteolytic processing of the proCCK precursor to generate active CCK8 neuropeptide in brain. This study demonstrates the significant role of the cysteine protease cathepsin L for CCK8 production. In cathepsin L knockout (KO) mice, CCK8 levels were substantially reduced in brain cortex by an average of 75%. To evaluate the role of cathepsin L in producing CCK in the regulated secretory pathway of neuroendocrine cells, pituitary AtT-20 cells that stably produce CCK were treated with the specific cathepsin L inhibitor, CLIK-148. CLIK-148 inhibitor treatment resulted in decreased amounts of CCK secreted from the regulated secretory pathway of AtT-20 cells. CLIK-148 also reduced cellular levels of CCK9 (Arg-CCK8), consistent with CCK9 as an intermediate product of cathepsin L, shown by the decreased ratio of CCK9/CCK8. The decreased CCK9/CCK8 ratio also suggests a shift in the production to CCK8 over CCK9 during inhibition of cathepsin L. During reduction of the PC1/3 processing enzyme by siRNA, the ratio of CCK9/CCK8 was increased, suggesting a shift to the cathepsin L pathway for the production of CCK9. The changes in ratios of CCK9 compared to CCK8 are consistent with dual roles of the cathepsin L protease pathway that includes aminopeptidase B to remove NH2-terminal Arg or Lys, and the PC1/3 protease pathway. These results suggest that cathepsin L functions as a major protease responsible for CCK8 production in mouse brain cortex, and participates with PC1/3 for CCK8 production in pituitary cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two different RNAi methods were used to inhibit the expression of prohormone convertase 1 (PC1) in At-T20 cells. Transient transfection of double stranded RNA and stable expression of a vector expressing hairpin-loop RNA targeting PC1 reduced cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion from At-T20 cells. PC1 mRNA and protein were also decreased in the vector transfected cells. This treatment caused a shift in the forms of cholecystokinin (CCK) secreted, decreasing CCK 22 and increasing CCK 8. Stable expression of RNAi effectively decreased PC1 expression. The observed decrease in CCK seen with these RNAi treatments further supports a role for PC1 in CCK processing in these cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholecystokinin (CCK) is produced from pro CCK by a series of enzymatic cleavages. One of the enzymes thought to be important for pro CCK cleavage is prohormone convertase 5 (PC5). STC-1 cells, a mouse intestinal tumor cell line that expresses CCK, PC1, PC2, and PC5 were stably transfected with hairpin loop plasmids encoding siRNA targeting PC5 and clones were selected. CCK secretion was reduced significantly. PC5 mRNA and protein expression as measured by quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis was reduced about 50%. CCK and PC1 mRNA expression were not changed. These cells showed a three-fold increase in PC2 mRNA and protein expression. This increase may represent a compensatory mechanism triggered by the loss of PC5. The decrease in CCK in the media was due largely to loss of CCK 22. These results provide the first direct evidence that PC5 is involved in CCK processing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholecystokinin (CCK) is expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems and functions as a neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine hormone. The in vivo forms of CCK include CCK-83, -58, -39, -33, -22, -12, and -8. Tissues in the periphery produce the larger forms of CCK, such as CCK-58, whereas the brain primarily produces CCK-8. The different biologically active forms of CCK observed in vivo may result from cell-specific differences in endoproteolytic cleavage during post-translational processing. Evidence suggests that cleavages of pro-CCK occur in a specific sequential order. To further delineate the progression of cleavages during pro-CCK maturation, mutagenesis was used to disrupt putative mono- and dibasic cleavage sites. AtT-20 cells transfected with wild-type rat prepro-CCK secret CCK-22 and -8. Mutagenesis of the cleavage sites of pro-CCK had profound effects on the products that were produced. Substitution of basic cleavage sites with nonbasic amino acids inhibits cleavage and leads to the secretion of pathway intermediates such as CCK-83, -33, and -12. These results suggest that CCK-58 is cleaved to both CCK-33 and -22. Furthermore, CCK-8 and -12 are likely derived from cleavage of CCK-33 but not CCK-22. Alanine substitution at the same site completely blocked production of amidated products, whereas serine substitution did not. The cleavages observed at nonbasic residues in this study may represent the activity of enzymes other than PC1 and carboxypeptidase E, such as the enzyme SKI-1. A model for the progression of pro-CCK processing in AtT-20 cells is proposed. The findings in this study further supports the hypothesis that pro-CCK undergoes parallel pathways of proteolytic cleavages.