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Differential Neuropeptidomes of Dense Core Secretory Vesicles (DCSV) Produced at Intravesicular and Extracellular pH Conditions by Proteolytic Processing

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2021, 23:03 by Zhenze Jiang, Christopher B. Lietz, Sonia Podvin, Michael C. Yoon, Thomas Toneff, Vivian Hook, Anthony J. O’Donoghue
Neuropeptides mediate cell–cell signaling in the nervous and endocrine systems. The neuropeptidome is the spectrum of peptides generated from precursors by proteolysis within dense core secretory vesicles (DCSV). DCSV neuropeptides and contents are released to the extracellular environment where further processing for neuropeptide formation may occur. To assess the DCSV proteolytic capacity for production of neuropeptidomes at intravesicular pH 5.5 and extracellular pH 7.2, neuropeptidomics, proteomics, and protease assays were conducted using chromaffin granules (CG) purified from adrenal medulla. CG are an established model of DCSV. The CG neuropeptidome consisted of 1239 unique peptides derived from 15 proneuropeptides that were colocalized with 64 proteases. Distinct CG neuropeptidomes were generated at the internal DCSV pH of 5.5 compared to the extracellular pH of 7.2. Class-specific protease inhibitors differentially regulated neuropeptidome production involving aspartic, cysteine, serine, and metallo proteases. The substrate cleavage properties of CG proteases were assessed by multiplex substrate profiling by mass spectrometry (MSP-MS) that uses a synthetic peptide library containing diverse cleavage sites for endopeptidases and exopeptidases. Parallel inhibitor-sensitive cleavages for neuropeptidome production and peptide library proteolysis led to elucidation of six CG proteases involved in neuropeptidome production, represented by cathepsins A, B, C, D, and L and carboxypeptidase E (CPE). The MSP-MS profiles of these six enzymes represented the majority of CG proteolytic cleavages utilized for neuropeptidome production. These findings provide new insight into the DCSV proteolytic system for production of distinct neuropeptidomes at the internal CG pH of 5.5 and at the extracellular pH of 7.2.

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