A novel peptide-processing activity of insect peptidyl-dipeptidase A (angiotensin I-converting enzyme): the hydrolysis of lysyl-arginine and arginyl-arginine from the C-terminus of an insect prohormone peptide
Published by Portland Press on behalf of the Biochemical Society
Biochemical Journal vol:330 pages:61-65
Insect peptidyl-dipeptidase A [angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE)I is a soluble single-domain peptidyl-dipeptidase that has many properties in common with the C-domain of mammalian somatic ACE and with the single-domain mammalian germinal ACE. Mammalian somatic ACE is important in blood homoeostasis, but the role of ACE in insects is not known. Immune-cytochemistry has been used to localize ACE in the neuroendocrine system of the locust, Locusta migratoria. Staining was observed in five groups of neurosecretory cells in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion, in the nervi corpori cardiaci, the storage part of the corpora cardiaca and in the nervi corpori allati. In three groups of neurosecretory cells, ACE co-localized with locustamyotropins, suggesting a possible role for the enzyme in the metabolism of these neuropeptides. We demonstrate in vitro a novel activity of ACE that removes pairs of basic amino acid residues from a locustamyotropin peptide extended at the C-terminus with either Gly-Lys-Arg or Gly-Arg-Arg, corresponding to a consensus recognition sequence for endoproteolysis of prohormone proteins by prohormone convertases. The low K-m and high k(cat) values (K-m 7.3 and 5.0 mu M, k(cat) 226 and 207 s(-1) for the hydrolysis of Phe-Ser-Pro-Arg-Leu-Gly-Lys-Arg and Phe-Ser-Pro-Arg-Leu-Gly-Arg-Arg, respectively) obtained for the hydrolysis of these two peptides by insect ACE means that these peptides, along with mammalian bradykinin, are the most favoured in vitro ACE substrates so far identified. The discovery of this in vitro prohormone-processing activity of insect ACE provides a possible explanation for the intracellular co-localization of the enzyme with locustamyotropin peptides, and provides evidence for a new role for ACE in the biosynthesis of peptide hormones and transmitters.