Revisiting PC1/3 Mutants: Dominant-Negative Effect of Endoplasmic Reticulum-Retained Mutants

Endocrinology. 2015 Oct;156(10):3625-37. doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1068. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


Prohormone convertase 1/3 (PC1/3), encoded by the gene PCSK1, is critical for peptide hormone synthesis. An increasing number of studies have shown that inactivating mutations in PCSK1 are correlated with endocrine pathologies ranging from intestinal dysfunction to morbid obesity, whereas the common nonsynonymous polymorphisms rs6232 (N221D) and rs6234-rs6235 (Q665E-S690T) are highly associated with obesity risk. In this report, we revisited the biochemical and cellular properties of PC1/3 variants in the context of a wild-type PC1/3 background instead of the S357G hypermorph background used for all previous studies. In the wild-type background the PC1/3 N221D variant exhibited 30% lower enzymatic activity in a fluorogenic assay than wild-type PC1/3; this inhibition was greater than that detected in an equivalent experiment using the PC1/3 S357G background. A PC1/3 variant with the linked carboxyl-terminal polymorphisms Q665E-S690T did not show this difference. We also analyzed the biochemical properties of 2 PC1/3 mutants, G209R and G593R, which are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and studied their effects on wild-type PC1/3. The expression of ER-retained mutants induced ER stress markers and also resulted in dominant-negative blockade of wild-type PC1/3 prodomain cleavage and decreased expression of wild-type PC1/3, suggesting facilitation of the entry of wild-type protein to a degradative proteasomal pathway. Dominant-negative effects of PC1/3 mutations on the expression and maturation of wild-type protein, with consequential effects on PC1/3 availability, add a new element which must be considered in population and clinical studies of this gene.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocatalysis
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / enzymology*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress / genetics
  • Genotype
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Proprotein Convertase 1 / genetics*
  • Proprotein Convertase 1 / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteolysis


  • Mutant Proteins
  • Proprotein Convertase 1