Thrombin activation of protein C requires prior processing by a liver proprotein convertase.
ABSTRACT: Protein C, a secretory vitamin K-dependent anticoagulant serine protease, inactivates factors Va/VIIIa. It is exclusively synthesized in liver hepatocytes as an inactive zymogen (proprotein C). In humans, thrombin cleavage of the propeptide at PR221↓ results in activated protein C (APC; residues 222-461). However, the propeptide is also cleaved by a furin-like proprotein convertase(s) (PCs) at KKRSHLKR199↓ (underlined basic residues critical for the recognition by PCs), but the order of cleavage is unknown. Herein, we present evidence that at the surface of COS-1 cells, mouse proprotein C is first cleaved by the convertases furin, PC5/6A, and PACE4. In mice, this cleavage occurs at the equivalent site, KKRKILKR198↓, and requires the presence of Arg198 at P1 and a combination of two other basic residues at either P2 (Lys197), P6 (Arg193), or P8 (Lys191) positions. Notably, the thrombin-resistant R221A mutant is still cleaved by these PCs, revealing that convertase cleavage can precede thrombin activation. This conclusion was supported by the fact that the APC-specific activity in the medium of COS-1 cells is exclusively dependent on prior cleavage by the convertases, because both R198A and R221A lack protein C activity. Primary cultures of hepatocytes derived from wild-type or hepatocyte-specific furin, PC5/6, or complete PACE4 knock-out mice suggested that the cleavage of overexpressed proprotein C is predominantly performed by furin intracellularly and by all three proprotein convertases at the cell surface. Indeed, plasma analyses of single-proprotein convertase-knock-out mice showed that loss of the convertase furin or PC5/6 in hepatocytes results in a ∼30% decrease in APC levels, with no significant contribution from PACE4. We conclude that prior convertase cleavage of protein C in hepatocytes is critical for its thrombin activation.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic protein 10 (BMP10) is a member of the TGF-? superfamily and plays a critical role in heart development. In the postnatal heart, BMP10 is restricted to the right atrium. The inactive pro-BMP10 (?60 kDa) is processed into active BMP10 (?14 kDa) by an unknown protease. Proteolytic cleavage occurs at the RIRR(316)? site (human), suggesting the involvement of proprotein convertase(s) (PCs). In vitro digestion of a 12-mer peptide encompassing the predicted cleavage site with furin, PACE4, PC5/6, and PC7, showed that furin cleaves the best, whereas PC7 is inactive on this peptide. Ex vivo studies in COS-1 cells, a cell line lacking PC5/6, revealed efficient processing of pro-BMP10 by endogenous PCs other than PC5/6. The lack of processing of overexpressed pro-BMP10 in the furin- and PACE4-deficient cell line, CHO-FD11, and in furin-deficient LoVo cells, was restored by stable (CHO-FD11/Fur cells) or transient (LoVo cells) expression of furin. Use of cell-permeable and cell surface inhibitors suggested that endogenous PCs process pro-BMP10 mostly intracellularly, but also at the cell surface. Ex vivo experiments in mouse primary hepatocytes (wild type, PC5/6 knock-out, and furin knock-out) corroborated the above findings that pro-BMP10 is a substrate for endogenous furin. Western blot analyses of heart right atria extracts from wild type and PACE4 knock-out adult mice showed no significant difference in the processing of pro-BMP10, implying no in vivo role of PACE4. Overall, our in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo data suggest that furin is the major convertase responsible for the generation of BMP10.
Project description:The proprotein convertase PCSK9 plays a key role in cholesterol homeostasis by binding the LDL receptor and targeting it toward degradation. PCSK9 is strongly expressed in the liver and is found in human and mouse plasma as mature (? 62 kDa) and inactivated (? 55 kDa) forms. Ex vivo data showed that human PCSK9 is inactivated by cleavage at Arg(218)? by the overexpressed convertases furin and PC5/6A. Analysis of the plasma of human heterozygotes for R218S and F216L mutations revealed a ? 50% reduction in the levels of the ? 55-kDa form. To identify the convertase(s) responsible for cleavage at Arg(218) in vivo, we inactivated the genes of furin and/or PC5/6 specifically in hepatocytes. The PCSK9-inactivated form was strongly reduced in mice lacking furin in hepatocytes (Fur-hKO) and only slightly reduced in PC5/6-hKO plasma. In agreement with a key role of furin in regulating PCSK9 activity in vivo, we observed an overall 26% drop in the LDL receptor protein levels of Fur-hKO livers, likely due to the compound effects of a 35% increase in PCSK9 mRNA levels and the loss of PCSK9 cleavage, suggesting a higher activity of PCSK9 in these mice. Overexpression of PCSK9 in primary hepatocytes obtained from these mice revealed that only full-length, membrane-bound, but not soluble, furin is the cognate convertase. We conclude that in hepatocytes furin regulates PCSK9 mRNA levels and is the key in vivo-inactivating protease of circulating PCSK9.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In zebrafish, vascular endothelial growth factor-C precursor (proVEGF-C) processing occurs within the dibasic motif HSIIRR(214) suggesting the involvement of one or more basic amino acid-specific proprotein convertases (PCs) in this process. In the present study, we examined zebrafish proVEGF-C expression and processing and the effect of unprocessed proVEGF-C on caudal fin regeneration. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cell transfection assays revealed that the cleavage of proVEGF-C, mainly mediated by the proprotein convertases Furin and PC5 and to a less degree by PACE4 and PC7, is abolished by PCs inhibitors or by mutation of its cleavage site (HSIIRR(214) into HSIISS(214)). In vitro, unprocessed proVEGF-C failed to activate its signaling proteins Akt and ERK and to induce cell proliferation. In vivo, following caudal fin amputation, the induction of VEGF-C, Furin and PC5 expression occurs as early as 2 days post-amputation (dpa) with a maximum levels at 4-7 dpa. Using immunofluorescence staining we localized high expression of VEGF-C and the convertases Furin and PC5 surrounding the apical growth zone of the regenerating fin. While expression of wild-type proVEGF-C in this area had no effect, unprocessed proVEGF-C inhibited fin regeneration. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCES: Taken together, these data indicate that zebrafish fin regeneration is associated with up-regulation of VEGF-C and the convertases Furin and PC5 and highlight the inhibitory effect of unprocessed proVEGF-C on fin regeneration.
Project description:The basic amino acid-specific proprotein convertase 5/6 (PC5/6) is an essential secretory protease, as knock-out mice die at birth and exhibit multiple homeotic transformation defects, including impaired bone morphogenesis and lung structure. Some of the observed defects were attributed to impaired processing of the TGF?-like growth differentiating factor 11 precursor (proGdf11). In this work we present evidence that the latent TGF?-binding proteins 2 and 3 (LTBP-2 and -3) inhibit the extracellular processing of proGdf11 by PC5/6A. This is partly due to the binding of LTBPs in the endoplasmic reticulum to the zymogen proPC5/6A, thus allowing the complex to exit the endoplasmic reticulum and be sequestered as an inactive zymogen in the extracellular matrix but not at the cell surface. This results in lower levels of PC5/6A in the media, without affecting those of PACE4, Furin, or a soluble form of PC7. The secreted soluble protease-specific activity of PC5/6A or a variant lacking the C-terminal Cys-rich domain (PC5/6-?CRD) is significantly decreased when co-expressed with LTBPs in cells. A similar enzymatic inhibition seems to apply to PACE4 and Furin. In situ hybridization analyses revealed extensive co-localization of PC5/6 and LTBP-3 mRNAs in mice at embryonic day 15.5 and post partum day 1. In conclusion, this is the first time that a zymogen of the proprotein convertases was shown to exit the endoplasmic reticulum in the presence of LTBPs, representing a potential novel mechanism for the regulation of PC5/6A activity, e.g. in tissues such as bone and lung where LTBP-3 and PC5/6 co-localize.
Project description:The secretory proprotein convertase (PC) family comprises nine members: PC1/3, PC2, furin, PC4, PC5/6, PACE4, PC7, SKI-1/S1P, and PCSK9. The first seven PCs cleave their substrates at single or paired basic residues, and SKI-1/S1P cleaves its substrates at non-basic residues in the Golgi. PCSK9 cleaves itself once, and the secreted inactive protease escorts specific receptors for lysosomal degradation. It regulates the levels of circulating LDL cholesterol and is considered a major therapeutic target in phase III clinical trials. In vivo, PCs exhibit unique and often essential functions during development and/or in adulthood, but certain convertases also exhibit complementary, redundant, or opposite functions.
Project description:By using reverse transcriptase/PCR and oligonucleotide sequences derived from conserved segments (including the conserved RRGDL sequence) of the known proprotein convertases (PCs) PC1, PC2, furin, and PC4, we identified a subtilisin/kexin-like PC called PC5 in both mouse and rat tissues. The composite structure (2.85 kb) was deduced from the analysis of the reverse transcription/PCR products combined with the sequence from a clone isolated from a cDNA library made from corticotropin-activated mouse adrenocortical Y1 cells. The deduced cDNA structures of mouse PC5 and rat PC5 showed that the closest homologue is PACE4. Furthermore, like furin, Drosophila melanogaster (d) dfurin2, and PACE4, PC5 shows the presence of a C-terminal Cys-rich domain containing either 5 (PC5 and PACE4) or 10 (dfurin2) repeats of the consensus motif Cys-Xaa2-Cys-Xaa3-Cys-Xaa(5-7)-Cys-Xaa2-Cys-Xaa (8-15)-Cys-Xaa3-Cys-Xaa(9-16). The richest sources of rat PC5 mRNA (3.8 kb) are the adrenal and gut, but it can also be detected in many endocrine and nonendocrine tissues. Corticotropin-stimulated adrenocortical Y1 cells showed an increased expression of PC5 mRNA, suggesting an upregulation by cAMP. In situ hybridization of rat brain sections demonstrated a unique distribution of PC5 compared to PC1, PC2, and furin.
Project description:Limited endoproteolysis of inactive precursor proteins at sites marked by paired or multiple basic amino acids is a widespread process by which biologically active peptides and proteins are produced within the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells. The identification of a novel family of endoproteases homologous with bacterial subtilisins and yeast Kex2p has accelerated progress in understanding the complex mechanisms underlying the production of the bioactive materials. Seven distinct proprotein convertases of this family (furin, PC2, PC1/PC3, PC4, PACE4, PC5/PC6, LPC/PC7/PC8/SPC7) have been identified in mammalian species, some having isoforms generated via alternative splicing. The family has been shown to be responsible for conversion of precursors of peptide hormones, neuropeptides, and many other proteins into their biologically active forms. Furin, the first proprotein convertase to be identified, has been most extensively studied. It has been shown to be expressed in all tissues and cell lines examined and to be mainly localized in the trans-Golgi network, although some proportion of the furin molecules cycle between this compartment and the cell surface. This endoprotease is capable of cleaving precursors of a wide variety of proteins, including growth factors, serum proteins, including proteases of the blood-clotting and complement systems, matrix metalloproteinases, receptors, viral-envelope glycoproteins and bacterial exotoxins, typically at sites marked by the consensus Arg-Xaa-(Lys/Arg)-Arg sequence. The present review covers the structure and function of mammalian subtilisin/Kex2p-like proprotein convertases, focusing on furin (EC 188.8.131.52).
Project description:We present here the pulse and pulse-chase analysis of the biosynthesis of the envelope glycoprotein gp160 and its intracellular processing by the subtilisin/kexin-like convertases furin, PACE4, PC1, PC5 and its isoform PC5/6-B. We demonstrate that furin and to a much lesser extent PACE4, PC5/6-B and PC1 are candidate enzymes capable of processing gp160 intracellularly. Furthermore we show that furin can also process gp160/gp120 into gp77/gp53 products by cleavage at the sequence RIQR/GPGR just preceding the conserved GPGR structure found at the tip of the hypervariable V3 loop. The results show that processing into gp120 could occur at or before the trans-Golgi network (TGN) where sulphation of the oligosaccharide moieties of gp160 was detected. In contrast, the formation of gp77/gp53 by furin is a late event occurring after exit from the TGN. Our data also revealed that the alpha glucosidase I inhibitor N-butyldeoxynojirimycin, although affecting the oligosaccharide composition of gp160, does not impair the processing of either gp160 or gp120 by either furin or PACE4. Finally, the co-expression of the [Arg355, Arg358]-alpha-1-antitrypsin Portland variant was shown to potently inhibit the processing of both gp160 and gp120 by these convertases.
Project description:Proprotein convertases are subtilisin-like serine endoproteases that cleave and hence activate a variety of proproteins, including growth factors, receptors, metalloproteases, and extracellular matrix proteins. Therefore, it has been suggested that inhibition of the ubiquitously expressed proprotein convertase FURIN might be a good therapeutic strategy for several tumor types. Whether this is also the case for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is currently not clear. In a mouse model for HCC expression of Furin was not altered in the tumors, while those of PC7, PC5/6, and PACE4 significantly decreased, at least at some time points. To investigate the impact of Furin inhibition on the development and progression of HCC in this model, Furin was genetically ablated in the liver. Furin inactivation resulted in an increased tumor mass after 5 weeks. This was not caused by decreased apoptosis, since no differences in the apoptosis index could be observed. However, it could at least partially be explained by increased hepatocyte proliferation at 5 weeks. The tumors of the Furin knockout mice were histologically similar to those in wild type mice. In conclusion, liver-specific Furin inhibition in HCC enhances the tumor formation and will not be a good therapeutic strategy for this tumor type.
Project description:Fluorogenic peptides encompassing the processing sites of envelope glycoproteins of the infectious influenza A Hong Kong virus (HKV), Ebola virus (EBOV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) were tested for cleavage by soluble recombinants of the proprotein convertases furin, PC5 and PC7. Kinetic studies with these intramolecularly quenched fluorogenic peptides revealed selective cleavages at the physiological dibasic sites. The HKV peptide is cleaved by both furin and PC5 with similar efficacy; in comparison, PC7 cleaves this substrate poorly. In contrast with the basic tetrapeptide insertion within the haemagglutinin sequence of HKV, two other dipeptide insertions revealed a poorer cleavage with a similar rank order of potency. These results demonstrate that the N-terminal RERR insertion to the wild-type avian RKKR downward arrow sequence is functionally significant, and suggest that the approx. 5-fold increase in cleavage efficacy contributes to the high infectivity of the H5N1 virus subtype. With regard to RSV peptide processing, PC7 is twice as effective as PC5 and furin. The EBOV peptide was processed with similar efficiency by the three enzymes. Our observations that all of these cleavages can be effectively inhibited by a plant andrographolide derivative at 250 microM or less might aid in the design of potent convertase inhibitors as alternative antiviral therapies.