Expression of the human proenkephalin gene in mouse pituitary cells: accurate and efficient mRNA production and proteolytic processing.

M. Comb*, D. Liston, M. Martin, H. Rosen, E. Herbert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

A recombinant plasmid containing the human proenkephalin gene ligated to pBR322 was introduced into a mouse pituitary cell line (AtT-20D16v) that normally expresses pro-opiomelanocortin but not proenkephalin. The plasmid was introduced by co-transformation with the G418-selectable plasmid, pRSVneo. Stable transformants were isolated and analyzed for the presence of the human proenkephalin gene. AtT-20 transformants which had one or more copies of the human proenkephalin gene integrated stably into the mouse chromosomal DNA expressed a 1.45 kb mRNA identical in size to human proenkephalin mRNA. Primer extension analysis indicated that the human proenkephalin gene was accurately and efficiently transcribed from its own promoter. AtT-20 transformants that expressed the 1.45 kb human proenkephalin mRNA also expressed proenkephalin protein and cleaved the protein to form free Met-enkephalin. This is of particular interest because these cells do not cleave all of the available pairs of basic amino acids in the endogenous protein, pro-opiomelanocortin, the precursor to ACTH, beta-endorphin and melanocyte stimulating hormones. The release of both ACTH and Met-enkephalin from these cells is stimulated by corticotropin releasing factor, a natural secretagogue for ACTH, indicating that the two classes of peptide share a related secretory pathway.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3115-3122
Number of pages8
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume4
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1985

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