Proneurotensin 1-117, a stable neurotensin precursor fragment identified in human circulation

Peptides. 2006 Jul;27(7):1787-93. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2006.01.021. Epub 2006 Mar 7.


Proneurotensin/neuromedin N (pro NT/NMN) is the common precursor of two biologically active peptides, neurotensin (NT) and neuromedin N (NMN). We have established antibodies against peptide sequences of the NT/NMN precursor and developed a sandwich immunoassay for the detection of pro NT/NMN immunoreactivity in human circulation. Endogenous pro NT/NMN immunoreactivity was enriched by affinity chromatography using antibodies against two different pro NT/NMN epitopes, and further purified by reversed phase HPLC. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed pro NT/NMN 1-117 as major pro NT/NMN immunoreactivity in human circulation. Pro NT/NMN 1-117 is detectable in serum from healthy individuals (n = 124; median 338.9 pmol/L). As known for NT, the release of pro NT/NMN 1-117 from the intestine into the circulation is stimulated by ingestion of an ordinary meal. Investigation of the pro NT/NMN 1-117 in vitro stability in human serum and plasma revealed that this molecule is stable for at least 48 h at room temperature. Since pro NT/NMN 1-117 is theoretically produced during precursor processing in stoichiometric amounts relative to NT and NMN, it could be a surrogate marker for the release of these bioactive peptides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Epitopes / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurotensin / blood
  • Neurotensin / chemistry*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Protein Precursors / chemistry
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Temperature


  • Epitopes
  • Peptides
  • Protein Precursors
  • proneurotensin
  • Neurotensin