The recent finding that Cpe(fat)/Cpe(fat) mice, which lack carboxypeptidase E (CPE) activity because of a point mutation, are still capable of a reduced amount of neuroendocrine peptide processing suggested that additional carboxypeptidases (CPs) participate in this processing reaction. Searches for novel members of the CPE gene family led to the discovery of CPD, CPZ, AEBP1, and CPX-2. In the present report, we describe mouse CPX-1, another novel member of this gene family. Like AEBP1 and CPX-2, CPX-1 contains an N-terminal region of 160 amino acids with sequence similarity to the discoidin domain of a variety of proteins. The 410-residue CP-like domain of CPX-1 has 54% to 62% amino acid sequence identity with AEBP1 and CPX-2 and 33% to 49% amino acid identity with other members of the CPE subfamily. However, several active-site residues that are important for catalytic activity of other CPs are not conserved in CPX-1. Furthermore, CPX- 1 expressed in either the baculovirus system or the mouse AtT-20 cell line does not cleave standard CP substrates. Northern blot analysis showed the highest levels of CPX-1 mRNA in testis and spleen and lower levels in salivary gland, brain, heart, lung, and kidney. In situ hybridization of CPX- 1 mRNA in embryonic and fetal mouse tissue showed expression throughout the head and thorax, with abundance in primordial cartilage and skeletal structures. In the head, high levels of CPX-1 mRNA were associated with the nasal mesenchyme, primordial cartilage structures in the ear, and the meninges. In the thorax, CPX-1 mRNA was expressed in multiple developing skeletal structures, including chondrocytes and perichondrial cells of the rib, vertebral, and long-bone primordia. Taken together, these findings suggest that it is unlikely that CPX-1 functions in the processing of neuroendocrine peptides. Instead, CPX-1 may have a role in development, possibly mediating cell interactions via its discoidin domain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology