The C-terminal region of proSAAS is a potent inhibitor of prohormone convertase 1

Yimei Qian, Lakshmi A. Devi, Nino Mzhavia, Scott Munzer, Nabil G. Seidah, Lloyd D. Fricker

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92 Scopus citations


ProSAAS is a recently discovered 26-kDa neuroendocrine protein that was previously found to inhibit pro-hormone convertase (PC) 1 and not PC2. In the present study, the specificity of proSAAS toward other members of the prohormone convertase family was determined. Two μM proSAAS selectively inhibits PC1 but not furin, PACE4, PC5A, or PC7. The PC1 inhibitory region of proSAAS was mapped to an 8-12-residue region near the C terminus that includes a critical Lys-Arg sequence. Synthetic peptides corresponding to this region are competitive inhibitors of PC1 with apparent K(i) values of 14-40 nM. The inhibition becomes more effective with incubation time, indicating that the inhibitor is slow binding. A fusion protein containing the inhibitory region of proSAAS linked to the C terminus of glutathione S-transferase binds the 71-kDa form but not the 85-kDa form of PC1. This binding, which occurs at pH 5.5 and not at pH 7.4, is stable to incubation at room temperature for I h in the presence or absence of 0.5% Triton X-100 and/or 0.5 M NaCl The removal of Ca2+ with chelating agents partially releases the bound PC1. High concentrations of the inhibitory peptide quantitatively release the bound PC1. Taken together, these data support the proposal that proSAAS functions as an endogenous inhibitor of PC1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23596-23601
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 4 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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