Genome-wide census and expression profiling of chicken neuropeptide and prohormone convertase genes.
ABSTRACT: Neuropeptides regulate cell-cell signaling and influence many biological processes in vertebrates, including development, growth, and reproduction. The complex processing of neuropeptides from prohormone proteins by prohormone convertases, combined with the evolutionary distance between the chicken and mammalian species that have experienced extensive neuropeptide research, has led to the empirical confirmation of only 18 chicken prohormone proteins. To expand our knowledge of the neuropeptide and prohormone convertase gene complement, we performed an exhaustive survey of the chicken genomic, EST, and proteomic databases using a list of 95 neuropeptide and 7 prohormone convertase genes known in other species. Analysis of the EST resources and 22 microarray studies offered a comprehensive portrait of gene expression across multiple conditions. Five neuropeptide genes (apelin, cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript protein, insulin-like 5, neuropeptide S, and neuropeptide B) previously unknown in chicken were identified and 62 genes were confirmed. Although most neuropeptide gene families known in human are present in chicken, there are several gene not present in the chicken. Conversely, several chicken neuropeptide genes are absent from mammalian species, including C-RF amide, c-type natriuretic peptide 1 precursor, and renal natriuretic peptide. The prohormone convertases, with one exception, were found in the chicken genome. Bioinformatic models used to predict prohormone cleavages confirm that the processing of prohormone proteins into neuropeptides is similar between species. Neuropeptide genes are most frequently expressed in the brain and head, followed by the ovary and small intestine. Microarray analyses revealed that the expression of adrenomedullin, chromogranin-A, augurin, neuromedin-U, platelet-derived growth factor A and D, proenkephalin, relaxin-3, prepronociceptin, and insulin-like growth factor I was most susceptible (P-value<0.005) to changes in developmental stage, gender, and genetic line among other conditions studied. Our complete survey and characterization facilitates understanding of neuropeptides genes in the chicken, an animal of importance to biomedical and agricultural research.
Project description:The pig is a biomedical model to study human and livestock traits. Many of these traits are controlled by neuropeptides that result from the cleavage of prohormones by prohormone convertases. Only 45 prohormones have been confirmed in the pig. Sequence homology can be ineffective to annotate prohormone genes in sequenced species like the pig due to the multifactorial nature of the prohormone processing. The goal of this study is to undertake the first complete survey of prohormone and prohormone convertases genes in the pig genome. These genes were functionally annotated based on 35 gene expression microarray experiments. The cleavage sites of prohormone sequences into potentially active neuropeptides were predicted.We identified 95 unique prohormone genes, 2 alternative calcitonin-related sequences, 8 prohormone convertases and 1 cleavage facilitator in the pig genome 10.2 assembly and trace archives. Of these, 11 pig prohormone genes have not been reported in the UniProt, UniGene or Gene databases. These genes are intermedin, cortistatin, insulin-like 5, orexigenic neuropeptide QRFP, prokineticin 2, prolactin-releasing peptide, parathyroid hormone 2, urocortin, urocortin 2, urocortin 3, and urotensin 2-related peptide. In addition, a novel neuropeptide S was identified in the pig genome correcting the previously reported pig sequence that is identical to the rabbit sequence. Most differentially expressed prohormone genes were under-expressed in pigs experiencing immune challenge relative to the un-challenged controls, in non-pregnant relative to pregnant sows, in old relative to young embryos, and in non-neural relative to neural tissues. The cleavage prediction based on human sequences had the best performance with a correct classification rate of cleaved and non-cleaved sites of 92% suggesting that the processing of prohormones in pigs is similar to humans. The cleavage prediction models did not find conclusive evidence supporting the production of the bioactive neuropeptides urocortin 2, urocortin 3, torsin family 2 member A, tachykinin 4, islet amyloid polypeptide, and calcitonin receptor-stimulating peptide 2 in the pig.The present genomic and functional characterization supports the use of the pig as an effective animal model to gain a deeper understanding of prohormones, prohormone convertases and neuropeptides in biomedical and agricultural research.
Project description:Neuropeptides are cell to cell signalling molecules that regulate many critical biological processes including development, growth and reproduction. These peptides result from the complex processing of prohormone proteins, making their characterization both challenging and resource demanding. In fact, only 42 neuropeptide genes have been empirically confirmed in cattle. Neuropeptide research using high-throughput technologies such as microarray and mass spectrometry require accurate annotation of prohormone genes and products. However, the annotation and associated prediction efforts, when based solely on sequence homology to species with known neuropeptides, can be problematic.Complementary bioinformatic resources were integrated in the first survey of the cattle neuropeptide complement. Functional neuropeptide characterization was based on gene expression profiles from microarray experiments. Once a gene is identified, knowledge of the enzymatic processing allows determination of the final products. Prohormone cleavage sites were predicted using several complementary cleavage prediction models and validated against known cleavage sites in cattle and other species. Our bioinformatics approach identified 92 cattle prohormone genes, with 84 of these supported by expressed sequence tags. Notable findings included an absence of evidence for a cattle relaxin 1 gene and evidence for a cattle galanin-like peptide pseudogene. The prohormone processing predictions are likely accurate as the mammalian proprotein convertase enzymes, except for proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9, were also identified. Microarray analysis revealed the differential expression of 21 prohormone genes in the liver associated with nutritional status and 8 prohormone genes in the placentome of embryos generated using different reproductive techniques. The neuropeptide cleavage prediction models had an exceptional performance, correctly predicting cleavage in more than 86% of the prohormone sequence positions.A substantial increase in the number of cattle prohormone genes identified and insights into the expression profiles of neuropeptide genes were obtained from the integration of bioinformatics tools and database resources and gene expression information. Approximately 20 prohormones with no empirical evidence were detected and the prohormone cleavage sites were predicted with high accuracy. Most prohormones were supported by expressed sequence tag data and many were differentially expressed across nutritional and reproductive conditions. The complete set of cattle prohormone sequences identified and the cleavage prediction approaches are available at http://neuroproteomics.scs.uiuc.edu/neuropred.html.
Project description:The Amphiprion (anemonefish or clownfish) family of teleost fish, which is not a common model species, exhibits multiple unique characteristics, including social control of body size and protandrous sex change. The social changes in sex and body size are modulated by neuropeptide signaling pathways. These neuropeptides are formed from complex processing from larger prohormone proteins; understanding the neuropeptide complement requires information on complete prohormones sequences. Genome and transcriptome information within and across 22 teleost fish species, including 11 Amphiprion species, were assembled and integrated to achieve the first comprehensive survey of their prohormone genes. This information enabled the identification of 175 prohormone isoforms from 159 prohormone proteins across all species. This included identification of 9 CART prepropeptide genes and the loss of insulin-like 5B and tachykinin precursor 1B genes in Pomacentridae species. Transcriptome assemblies generally detected most prohormone genes but provided fewer prohormone genes than genome assemblies due to the lack of expression of prohormone genes or specific isoforms and tissue sampled. Comparisons between duplicate genes indicated that subfunctionalization, degradation, and neofunctionalization may be occurring between all copies. Characterization of the prohormone complement lays the foundation for future peptidomic investigation of the molecular basis of social physiology and behavior in the teleost fish.
Project description:Prohormone convertases are involved in the tissue-specific endoproteolytic processing of prohormones and neuropeptide precursors within the secretory pathway. In the present study, we have isolated genomic clones comprising the 5'-terminal region of the human prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) gene and established characteristics of the PC2 promoter region. The proximal promoter region is very G+C-rich and does not contain a canonical TATA box or a CAAT box. Transient expression assays with a set of human PC2 gene fragments containing progressive 5' deletions demonstrate that the proximal promoter region is capable of directing high levels of neuroendocrine-specific expression of reporter gene constructs. In addition, we show that the transcription factor EGR-1 interacts with two distinct elements within the proximal human PC2 promoter region. Transfection experiments also demonstrate that EGR-1 is able to enhance PC2 promoter activity.
Project description:The kexin-like proprotein convertases perform the initial proteolytic cleavages that ultimately generate a variety of different mature peptide and proteins, ranging from brain neuropeptides to endocrine peptide hormones, to structural proteins, among others. In this review, we present a general introduction to proprotein convertase structure and biochemistry, followed by a comprehensive discussion of each member of the kexin-like subfamily of proprotein convertases. We summarize current knowledge of human proprotein convertase insufficiency syndromes, including genome-wide analyses of convertase polymorphisms, and compare these to convertase null and mutant mouse models. These mouse models have illuminated our understanding of the roles specific convertases play in human disease and have led to the identification of convertase-specific substrates; for example, the identification of procorin as a specific PACE4 substrate in the heart. We also discuss the limitations of mouse null models in interpreting human disease, such as differential precursor cleavage due to species-specific sequence differences, and the challenges presented by functional redundancy among convertases in attempting to assign specific cleavages and/or physiological roles. However, in most cases, knockout mouse models have added substantively both to our knowledge of diseases caused by human proprotein convertase insufficiency and to our appreciation of their normal physiological roles, as clearly seen in the case of the furin, proprotein convertase 1/3, and proprotein convertase 5/6 mouse models. The creation of more sophisticated mouse models with tissue- or temporally-restricted expression of specific convertases will improve our understanding of human proprotein convertase insufficiency and potentially provide support for the emerging concept of therapeutic inhibition of convertases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: For holometabolous insects there has been an explosion of proteomic and peptidomic information thanks to large genome sequencing projects. Heterometabolous insects, although comprising many important species, have been far less studied. The migratory locust Locusta migratoria, a heterometabolous insect, is one of the most infamous agricultural pests. They undergo a well-known and profound phase transition from the relatively harmless solitary form to a ferocious gregarious form. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of this phase transition are not fully understood, but it is undoubtedly that neuropeptides are involved. However, neuropeptide research in locusts is hampered by the absence of genomic information. RESULTS: Recently, EST (Expressed Sequence Tag) databases from Locusta migratoria were constructed. Using bioinformatical tools, we searched these EST databases specifically for neuropeptide precursors. Based on known locust neuropeptide sequences, we confirmed the sequence of several previously identified neuropeptide precursors (i.e. pacifastin-related peptides), which consolidated our method. In addition, we found two novel neuroparsin precursors and annotated the hitherto unknown tachykinin precursor. Besides one of the known tachykinin peptides, this EST contained an additional tachykinin-like sequence. Using neuropeptide precursors from Drosophila melanogaster as a query, we succeeded in annotating the Locusta neuropeptide F, allatostatin-C and ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor, which until now had not been identified in locusts or in any other heterometabolous insect. For the tachykinin precursor, the ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor and the allatostatin-C precursor, translation of the predicted neuropeptides in neural tissues was confirmed with mass spectrometric techniques. CONCLUSION: In this study we describe the annotation of 6 novel neuropeptide precursors and the neuropeptides they encode from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. By combining the manual annotation of neuropeptides with experimental evidence provided by mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that the genes are not only transcribed but also translated into precursor proteins. In addition, we show which neuropeptides are cleaved from these precursor proteins and how they are post-translationally modified.
Project description:Cichlid fishes have evolved remarkably diverse reproductive, social, and feeding behaviors. Cell-to-cell signaling molecules, notably neuropeptides and peptide hormones, are known to regulate these behaviors across vertebrates. This class of signaling molecules derives from prohormone genes that have undergone multiple duplications and losses in fishes. Whether and how subfunctionalization, neofunctionalization, or losses of neuropeptides and peptide hormones have contributed to fish behavioral diversity is largely unknown. Information on fish prohormones has been limited and is complicated by the whole genome duplication of the teleost ancestor. We combined bioinformatics, mass spectrometry-enabled peptidomics, and molecular techniques to identify the suite of neuropeptide prohormones and pituitary peptide products in Astatotilapia burtoni, a well-studied member of the diverse African cichlid clade.Utilizing the A. burtoni genome, we identified 148 prohormone genes, with 21 identified as a single copy and 39 with at least 2 duplicated copies. Retention of prohormone duplicates was therefore 41 %, which is markedly above previous reports for the genome-wide average in teleosts. Beyond the expected whole genome duplication, differences between cichlids and mammals can be attributed to gene loss in tetrapods and additional duplication after divergence. Mass spectrometric analysis of the pituitary identified 620 unique peptide sequences that were matched to 120 unique proteins. Finally, we used in situ hybridization to localize the expression of galanin, a prohormone with exceptional sequence divergence in cichlids, as well as the expression of a proopiomelanocortin, prohormone that has undergone an additional duplication in some bony fish lineages.We characterized the A. burtoni prohormone complement. Two thirds of prohormone families contain duplications either from the teleost whole genome duplication or a more recent duplication. Our bioinformatic and mass spectrometric findings provide information on a major vertebrate clade that will further our understanding of the functional ramifications of these prohormone losses, duplications, and sequence changes across vertebrate evolution. In the context of the cichlid radiation, these findings will also facilitate the exploration of neuropeptide and peptide hormone function in behavioral diversity both within A. burtoni and across cichlid and other fish species.
Project description:The proprotein convertases are believed to be responsible for the proteolytic maturation of a large number of peptide hormone precursors. Although potent furin inhibitors have been identified, thus far, no small-molecule prohormone convertase 1/3 or prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) inhibitors have been described. After screening 38 small-molecule positional scanning libraries against recombinant mouse PC2, two promising chemical scaffolds were identified: bicyclic guanidines, and pyrrolidine bis-piperazines. A set of individual compounds was designed from each library and tested against PC2. Pyrrolidine bis-piperazines were irreversible, time-dependent inhibitors of PC2, exhibiting noncompetitive inhibition kinetics; the most potent inhibitor exhibited a K(i) value for PC2 of 0.54 microM. In contrast, the most potent bicyclic guanidine inhibitor exhibited a K(i) value of 3.3 microM. Cross-reactivity with other convertases was limited: pyrrolidine bis-piperazines exhibited K(i) values greater than 25 microM for PC1/3 or furin, whereas the K(i) values of bicyclic guanidines for these other convertases were more than 15 microM. We conclude that pyrrolidine bis-piperazines and bicyclic guanidines represent promising initial leads for the optimization of therapeutically active PC2 inhibitors. PC2-specific inhibitors may be useful in the pharmacological blockade of PC2-dependent cleavage events, such as glucagon production in the pancreas and ectopic peptide production in small-cell carcinoma, and to study PC2-dependent proteolytic events, such as opioid peptide production.
Project description:Five novel peptides were identified in the brains of mice lacking active carboxypeptidase E, a neuropeptide-processing enzyme. These peptides are produced from a single precursor, termed proSAAS, which is present in human, mouse, and rat. ProSAAS mRNA is expressed primarily in brain and other neuroendocrine tissues (pituitary, adrenal, pancreas); within brain, the mRNA is broadly distributed among neurons. When expressed in AtT-20 cells, proSAAS is secreted via the regulated pathway and is also processed at paired-basic cleavage sites into smaller peptides. Overexpression of proSAAS in the AtT-20 cells substantially reduces the rate of processing of the endogenous prohormone proopiomelanocortin. Purified proSAAS inhibits prohormone convertase 1 activity with an IC(50) of 590 nM but does not inhibit prohormone convertase 2. Taken together, proSAAS may represent an endogenous inhibitor of prohormone convertase 1.
Project description:Neuropeptides are vital for cell-cell communication and function in the regulation of the nervous and endocrine systems. They are generated by post-translational modification (PTM) steps resulting in small active peptides generated from prohormone precursors. Phosphorylation is a significant PTM for the bioactivity of neuropeptides. From the known diversity of distinct neuropeptide functions, it is hypothesized that the extent of phosphorylation varies among different neuropeptides. To assess this hypothesis, neuropeptide-containing dense core secretory vesicles from bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells were subjected to global phosphopeptidomics analyses by liquid chromatography (LC)-mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Phosphopeptides were identified directly by LC-MS/MS and indirectly by phosphatase treatment followed by LC-MS/MS. The data identified numerous phosphorylated peptides derived from neuropeptide precursors such as chromogranins, secretogranins, proenkephalin and pro-NPY. Phosphosite occupancies were observed at high and low levels among identified peptides and many of the high occupancy phosphopeptides represent prohormone-derived peptides with currently unknown bioactivities. Peptide sequence analyses demonstrated SxE as the most prevalent phosphorylation site motif, corresponding to phosphorylation sites of the Fam20C protein kinase known to be present in the secretory pathway. The range of high to low phosphosite occupancies for neuropeptides demonstrates cellular regulation of neuropeptide phosphorylation. Graphical Abstract ?.