Cloning and functional expression of endothelin-converting enzyme from rat endothelial cells

J Biol Chem. 1994 Jul 15;269(28):18275-8.


Endothelin (ET) is a 21-residue potent vasoconstrictive peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells and formed from its precursor, big endothelin (big ET), by endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE). Here we report the cloning and functional expression of a complementary DNA encoding a rat ECE from endothelial cells. Rat ECE is a highly glycosylated protein consisting of 10 possible N-linked glycosylation sites, a zinc-binding domain, and a single membrane-spanning region. It has structural and sequence homology to neutral endopeptidase and Kell blood group protein, a putative neutral endopeptidase. Monoclonal antibody risen against purified rat lung ECE recognized broad glycosylated bands in membrane fractions prepared from both rat lung and COS cells transfected with a rat ECE expression vector. Expressed ECE was inhibited by phosphoramidon, but not by thiorphan. It also cleaved big ET-1 efficiently but not big ET-2 or big ET-3. Northern blot analysis revealed that ECE messenger RNA is widely expressed in many tissues.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / biosynthesis*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Endothelin-Converting Enzymes
  • Endothelium, Vascular / enzymology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transfection


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Endothelin-Converting Enzymes

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D29683