The extended granin family: structure, function, and biomedical implications

Endocr Rev. 2011 Dec;32(6):755-97. doi: 10.1210/er.2010-0027. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


The chromogranins (chromogranin A and chromogranin B), secretogranins (secretogranin II and secretogranin III), and additional related proteins (7B2, NESP55, proSAAS, and VGF) that together comprise the granin family subserve essential roles in the regulated secretory pathway that is responsible for controlled delivery of peptides, hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors. Here we review the structure and function of granins and granin-derived peptides and expansive new genetic evidence, including recent single-nucleotide polymorphism mapping, genomic sequence comparisons, and analysis of transgenic and knockout mice, which together support an important and evolutionarily conserved role for these proteins in large dense-core vesicle biogenesis and regulated secretion. Recent data further indicate that their processed peptides function prominently in metabolic and glucose homeostasis, emotional behavior, pain pathways, and blood pressure modulation, suggesting future utility of granins and granin-derived peptides as novel disease biomarkers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Chromogranins / chemistry*
  • Chromogranins / physiology*
  • Chromogranins / therapeutic use
  • Endocrine Cells / drug effects
  • Endocrine Cells / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / chemistry
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / physiology
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nerve Growth Factors / chemistry
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / therapeutic use
  • Neuroendocrine Cells / drug effects
  • Neuroendocrine Cells / metabolism
  • Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein 7B2 / chemistry
  • Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein 7B2 / physiology
  • Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein 7B2 / therapeutic use
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry
  • Neuropeptides / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / therapeutic use
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use
  • Secretory Vesicles / drug effects
  • Secretory Vesicles / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Biomarkers
  • Chromogranins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Neuroendocrine Secretory Protein 7B2
  • Neuropeptides
  • PCSK1N protein, human
  • Peptide Fragments
  • SCG5 protein, human
  • VGF protein, human
  • GNAS protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs