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      ECE-1: A membrane-bound metalloprotease that catalyzes the proteolytic activation of big endothelin-1

      , , , , , ,
      Cell
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a 21-residue vasoactive peptide, is produced in vascular endothelial cells from the 38-residue inactive intermediate big endothelin-1 via a specific cleavage at Trp-21-Val-22. The protease that catalyzes the conversion, endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE), constitutes a potential regulatory site for the production of the active peptide. We report the identification of ECE-1, a novel membrane-bound neutral metalloprotease that is expressed abundantly in endothelial cells in vivo and is structurally related to neutral endopeptidase 24.11 and Kell blood group protein. When transfected into cultured cells that normally secrete only big ET-1, the ECE-1 cDNA conferred the ability to secrete mature ET-1. In transfected cells, ECE-1 processes endogenously synthesized big ET-1 as well as exogenously supplied big ET-1, which interacts with ECE-1 on the cell surface. ECE-1 may provide a target for pharmacological intervention to alter ET-1 production.

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          Most cited references30

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          High-efficiency transformation of mammalian cells by plasmid DNA.

          We describe a simple calcium phosphate transfection protocol and neo marker vectors that achieve highly efficient transformation of mammalian cells. In this protocol, the calcium phosphate-DNA complex is formed gradually in the medium during incubation with cells and precipitates on the cells. The crucial factors for obtaining efficient transformation are the pH (6.95) of the buffer used for the calcium phosphate precipitation, the CO2 level (3%) during the incubation of the DNA with the cells, and the amount (20 to 30 micrograms) and the form (circular) of DNA. In sharp contrast to the results with circular DNA, linear DNA is almost inactive. Under these conditions, 50% of mouse L(A9) cells can be stably transformed with pcDneo, a simian virus 40-based neo (neomycin resistance) marker vector. The NIH3T3, C127, CV1, BHK, CHO, and HeLa cell lines were transformed at efficiencies of 10 to 50% with this vector and the neo marker-incorporated pcD vectors that were used for the construction and transduction of cDNA expression libraries as well as for the expression of cloned cDNA in mammalian cells.
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            Expression of endothelin-1 in the lungs of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

            Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by an increase in vascular tone or an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells in the walls of small pulmonary arteries. Endothelin-1 is a potent endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide with important mitogenic properties. It has therefore been suggested that endothelin-1 may contribute to increases in pulmonary arterial tone or smooth-muscle proliferation in patients with pulmonary hypertension. We studied the sites and magnitude of endothelin-1 production in the lungs of patients with various causes of pulmonary hypertension. We studied the distribution of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity (by immunocytochemical analysis) and endothelin-1 messenger RNA (by in situ hybridization) in lung specimens from 15 control subjects, 11 patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy (grades 4 through 6), and 17 patients with secondary pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arteriopathy of grades 1 through 3. In the controls, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was rarely seen in vascular endothelial cells. In the patients with pulmonary hypertension, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was abundant, predominantly in endothelial cells of pulmonary arteries with medial thickening and intimal fibrosis. Likewise, endothelin-1 messenger RNA was increased in the patients with pulmonary hypertension and was expressed primarily at sites of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity. There was a strong correlation between the intensity of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity and pulmonary vascular resistance in the patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy, but not in those with secondary pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is associated with the increased expression of endothelin-1 in vascular endothelial cells, suggesting that the local production of endothelin-1 may contribute to the vascular abnormalities associated with this disorder.
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              Evolutionary families of peptidases.

              The available amino acid sequences of peptidases have been examined, and the enzymes have been allocated to evolutionary families. Some of the families can be grouped together in 'clans' that show signs of distant relationship, but nevertheless, it appears that there may be as many as 60 evolutionary lines of peptidases with separate origins. Some of these contain members with quite diverse peptidase activities, and yet there are some striking examples of convergence. We suggest that the classification by families could be used as an extension of the current classification by catalytic type.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell
                Cell
                Elsevier BV
                00928674
                August 1994
                August 1994
                : 78
                : 3
                : 473-485
                Article
                10.1016/0092-8674(94)90425-1
                8062389
                4745b2b2-666b-4d3e-84fd-c18ee5ea42c5
                © 1994

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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