Chromogranins A and B and secretogranin II: evolutionary and functional aspects

Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2008 Feb;192(2):309-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2007.01806.x. Epub 2007 Nov 15.


Chromogranins/secretogranins or granins are a class of acidic, secretory proteins that occur in endocrine, neuroendocrine, and neuronal cells. Granins are the precursors of several bioactive peptides and may be involved in secretory granule formation and neurotransmitter/hormone release. Characterization and analysis of chromogranin A (CgA), chromogranin B (CgB), and secretogranin II (SgII) in distant vertebrate species confirmed that CgA and CgB belong to related monophyletic groups, probably evolving from a common ancestral precursor, while SgII sequences constitute a distinct monophyletic group. In particular, selective sequences within these proteins, bounded by potential processing sites, have been remarkably conserved during evolution. Peptides named vasostatin, secretolytin and secretoneurin, which occur in these regions, have been shown to exert various biological activities. These conserved domains may also be involved in the formation of secretory granules in different vertebrates. Other peptides such as catestatin and pancreastatin may have appeared late during evolution. The function of granins as propeptide precursors and granulogenic factors is discussed in the light of recent data obtained in various model species and using knockout mice strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromogranins / analysis
  • Chromogranins / genetics*
  • Chromogranins / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurosecretory Systems / chemistry
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism
  • Secretogranin II / analysis
  • Secretogranin II / genetics*
  • Secretogranin II / metabolism
  • Secretory Vesicles / chemistry
  • Secretory Vesicles / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Vertebrates / metabolism*


  • Chromogranins
  • Secretogranin II