Analysis of the chromogranin A post-translational cleavage product pancreastatin and the prohormone convertases PC2 and PC3 in normal and neoplastic human pituitaries

R. V. Lloyd, L. Jin, X. Qian, B. W. Scheithauer, William Francis Young, D. H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several members of the chromogranin/secretogranin (Cg/Sg) family are post- translationally processed in neuroendocrine cells and tumors to smaller peptides, some of which are biologically active. For example, CgA is processed to pancreastatin, parastatin, and other peptides. We analyzed the distribution of pancreastatin and CgA proteins in normal and neoplastic pituitaries as well as the prohormone convertases PC2 and PC3/1 (PC3), the putative processing enzymes for the Cg/Sg family, in 35 pituitary adenomas and 4 non-neoplastic pituitaries by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with highly specific antisera. CgA and CgB mRNAs were also examined. Pancreastatin was present in all subtypes of pituitary tumors, although prolactin-secreting adenomas expressed this peptide less frequently than did other tumor types. CgA protein and CgA mRNA expression were also restricted in prolactin adenomas and in normal prolactin cells, as shown by combined in sire hybridization and immunostaining. The prohormone convertases PC2 and PC3 were present in pituitary tumors and in non-neoplastic pituitaries. Immunoblot analysis and immunostaining showed a principal ~69-kd PC3 band and a ~68-kd PC2 band. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone-secreting adenomas expressed mainly PC3 as determined by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry, whereas all other adenoma groups expressed predominantly PC2. These results indicate that the enzymes capable of processing CgA and other members of the Cg/Sg family to peptides with biological activity such as pancreastatin are widely expressed in human pituitary adenomas and in non-neoplastic pituitaries, with adrenocorticotrophic hormone tumors expressing predominantly PC3 and other adenomas expressing mainly PC2. The infrequent expression of CgA protein and pancreastatin peptides in normal and neoplastic prolactin cells suggests a unique role of CgA in these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1198
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume146
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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