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      Obesity and impaired prohormone processing associated with mutations in the human prohormone convertase 1 gene.

      Nature genetics

      Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases, genetics, metabolism, CHO Cells, Carboxypeptidase H, Carboxypeptidases, Cricetinae, Endoplasmic Reticulum, enzymology, Female, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Heterozygote, Humans, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Obesity, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational, Proprotein Convertase 1, Proprotein Convertases, Protein Precursors, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, RNA Splicing, RNA, Messenger, Transfection

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          Abstract

          Human obesity has an inherited component, but in contrast to rodent obesity, precise genetic defects have yet to be defined. A mutation of carboxypeptidase E (CPE), an enzyme active in the processing and sorting of prohormones, causes obesity in the fat/fat mouse. We have previously described a women with extreme childhood obesity (Fig. 1), abnormal glucose homeostasis, hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, hypocortisolism and elevated plasma proinsulin and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) concentrations but a very low insulin level, suggestive of a defective prohormone processing by the endopeptidase, prohormone convertase 1 (PC1; ref. 4). We now report this proband to be a compound heterozygote for mutations in PC1. Gly-->Arg483 prevents processing of proPC1 and leads to its retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). A-->C+4 of the intro-5 donor splice site causes skipping of exon 5 leading to loss of 26 residues, a frameshift and creation of a premature stop codon within the catalytic domain. PC1 acts proximally to CPE in the pathway of post-translational processing of prohormones and neuropeptides. In view of the similarity between the proband and the fat/fat mouse phenotype, we infer that molecular defects in prohormone conversion may represent a generic mechanism for obesity, common to humans and rodents.

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          Most cited references 13

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          A catalogue of splice junction sequences.

          Splice junction sequences from a large number of nuclear and viral genes encoding protein have been collected. The sequence CAAG/GTAGAGT was found to be a consensus of 139 exon-intron boundaries (or donor sequences) and (TC)nNCTAG/G was found to be a consensus of 130 intron-exon boundaries (or acceptor sequences). The possible role of splice junction sequences as signals for processing is discussed.
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            Hyperproinsulinaemia in obese fat/fat mice associated with a carboxypeptidase E mutation which reduces enzyme activity.

            Mice homozygous for the fat mutation develop obesity and hyperglycaemia that can be suppressed by treatment with exogenous insulin. The fat mutation maps to mouse chromosome 8, very close to the gene for carboxypeptidase E (Cpe), which encodes an enzyme (CPE) that processes prohormone intermediates such as proinsulin. We now demonstrate a defect in proinsulin processing associated with the virtual absence of CPE activity in extracts of fat/fat pancreatic islets and pituitaries. A single Ser202Pro mutation distinguishes the mutant Cpe allele, and abolishes enzymatic activity in vitro. Thus, the fat mutation represents the first demonstration of an obesity-diabetes syndrome elicited by a genetic defect in a prohormone processing pathway.
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              Carboxypeptidase E is a regulated secretory pathway sorting receptor: genetic obliteration leads to endocrine disorders in Cpe(fat) mice.

              A proposed mechanism for sorting secretory proteins into granules for release via the regulated secretory pathway in endocrine-neuroendocrine cells involves binding the proteins to a sorting receptor at the trans-Golgi network, followed by budding and granule formation. We have identified such a sorting receptor as membrane-associated carboxypeptidase E (CPE) in pituitary Golgi-enriched and secretory granule membranes. CPE specifically bound regulated secretory pathway proteins, including prohormones, but not constitutively secreted proteins. We show that in the Cpe(fat) mutant mouse lacking CPE, the pituitary prohormone, pro-opiomelanocortin, was missorted to the constitutive pathway and secreted in an unregulated manner. Thus, obliteration of CPE, the sorting receptor, leads to multiple endocrine disorders in these genetically defective mice, including hyperproinsulinemia and infertility.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                9207799
                10.1038/ng0797-303

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