Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:271 issue:41 pages:25284-25291
The mammalian subtilisin-like endoproteases furin and PC2 catalyze similar reactions but in different parts of the cell: furin in the trans-Golgi network and PC2 in dense-core granules. To map targeting domains within PC2, chimeras were constructed of the pro-, catalytic, and middle domains of furin with the carboxyl-terminal domain of PC2 (F-S-P) or of the pro- and catalytic domains of furin with the middle and carboxyl-terminal domains of PC2 (F-N-P). Their behavior in stable transfected AtT-20 cells was compared to a furin mutant truncated after the middle domain (F-S), wild-type furin, and with wild-type PC2. F-S-P, F-N-P, and F-S were catalytically active and underwent post-translational proteolysis and N-glycosylation with similar kinetics to wild-type furin. The truncated furin mutant was not stored intracellularly, whereas both chimeras, like PC2, showed inh acellular retention and regulated release. Immunofluorescence and immune-electron microscopy showed the presence of the chimeras and PC2 in dense-cored secretory granules together with proopiomelanocortin immunoreactivity. PC2 was sorted more efficiently than F-S-P, and the inclusion of the middle domain (F-N-P) further enhanced intracellular retention. It is concluded that sorting of PC2 into the regulated pathway depends on its carboxyl terminus. The middle domain may provide additional sorting determinants or a conformational framework for expression of the sorting signal.