Rat pro-atrial natriuretic factor expression and post-translational processing in mouse corticotropic pituitary tumor cells

Paul P. Shields, Amy B. Sprenkle, Eric W. Taylor, Christopher C. Glembotski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) is stored within atrial myocyte secretory granules as pro-ANF (ANF-(1-126)) and is proteolytically processed co-secretionally C-terminal to a single basic amino acid to form ANF-(1-98) and the bioactive product ANF-(99-126). Pro-ANF is also expressed in certain non-cardiac neuroendocrine cell types (e.g. brain, adrenal). Although the relatively low levels of the peptide in these cell types have precluded detailed processing and secretion studies using cultured cells, some work with tissue extracts suggests that pro-ANF is pre-secretionally processed between or C-terminal to Arg101-Arg102 in such cells. In order to assess whether cultured non-cardiac endocrine cells process pro-ANF pre- or co-secretionally, and to establish whether both paired and single basic amino acids can serve as cleavage sites, transfection studies were carried out using the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-producing pituitary tumor cell line AtT-20/D-16v. These cells normally cleave pro-ACTH/ endorphin pre-secretionally at selected, but not all, pairs of basic amino acids to a variety of product peptides. A prepro-ANF expression plasmid was constructed and transfected into the AtT-20 cells. The resulting ANF/AtT-20 cell clone selected for this study expressed ACTH at levels similar to the untransfected wild type cells and secreted immunoreactive ANF-related material at a rate of approximately 1 fmol/min/ 105 cells, which was about 10% the rate of ACTH secretion. The rates of secretion of both ANF and ACTH could be increased 3-5-fold with a variety of known AtT-20 cell secretagogues including phorbol esters and the β-adrenergic agonist, isoproterenol, thus indicating that both peptides were routed through regulated secretory pathways. Utilizing a combination of specific antisera directed against various regions of pro-ANF, size exclusion and reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography, and peptide mapping, it was shown that the ANF/AtT-20 cells contained and secreted the bioactive peptide ANF-(103-126) and -(1-97). These results indicate that the ANF/ AtT-20 cells specifically cleave pro-ANF pre-secretionally at the same single basic site used by cardiac tissue; this single basic cleavage is apparently followed by removal of Arg98 by carboxypeptidase H. It is also apparent that the cells can cleave at the sole paired basic site in pro-ANF, which is the probable cleavage site used by neurons and some other endocrine cells that express low levels of the prohormone. It is therefore apparent that different modes of processing pro-ANF are likely the result of tissue-specific differences in secretory mechanisms and processing enzyme activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10905-10911
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jul 5 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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