Processing of most gut hormones involves cleavage between dibasic amino acids followed by carboxypeptidase-catalyzed removal of the COOH-terminal basic residue, resulting in peptides with a COOH-terminal glycine. Such peptides may subsequently be converted to amidated peptides or can be directly secreted. It is believed that carboxypeptidase E (CPE) is involved in gut hormone processing but its presence in gut endocrine cells has never been studied. We have analyzed the distribution of CPE in the antropyloric mucosa of rat stomach and report that gastrin cells and progenitor gastrin-somatostatin (G/D) cells express CPE while mature somatostatin cells and the majority of serotonin cells fail to express CPE. These data indicate that immature G/D cells are able to process gastrin to glycine-extended forms and that CPE-mediated processing is not a characteristic of mature somatostatin and serotonin cells.