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Bassi DE , Mahloogi H , Klein-Szanto AJ
The proprotein convertases furin and PACE4 play a significant role in tumor progression
Mol Carcinog. 2000 Jun;28(2) :63-9
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Processing of latent precursor proteins by proprotein convertases (PCs) into their biologically active products is a common mechanism required for many important biologic functions. This process is tightly regulated, leading to the generation of active peptides and proteins including neuropeptides and polypeptide hormones, protein tyrosine phosphatases, growth factors and their receptors, and enzymes including matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). These processing reactions occurs at pairs of basic amino acids. Within the past several years, a novel family of Ca(2+)-dependent serine proteases has been identified, all of which possess homology to the endoproteases subtilisin (bacteria) and kexin (yeast). This family of PCs is currently comprised of fewer than a dozen members, known as furin/paired basic amino-acid-cleaving enzyme (PACE), PC1/PC3, PC2, PC4, PACE4, PC5/PC6, and PC7/PC8/lymphoma proprotein convertase. They share a high degree of amino-acid identity of 50-75% within their catalytic domains. Despite the relatively high degree of homology in the PC family, only PACE4 and furin localize to the same chromosome: mouse chromosome 7 and human chromosome 15. Recent reports have supported a possible functional role for PCs in tumorigenesis. For instance, convertases have been shown to be expressed in various tumor lines and human primary tumors. Furin and PACE4 process stromelysin 3 (MMP-11 or Str-3), an MMP involved in tumor invasion, into its mature, active form. Similarly, a growing family of MMPs, known as membrane-type metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs), and growth factors and adhesion molecules such as E-cadherin show similar amino-acid motifs and thus could be activated by furin and PACE4. These data, taken together with the high expression levels of PACE4 in 50% of murine chemically induced spindle cell tumors, confer to PACE4 and possibly other PCs a possible functional role in the activation of MMPs and consequently in tumor cell invasion and tumor progression. This was further supported by the remarkable enhancement in the invasive ability of the PACE4-transfected murine tumor cell lines. Mol. Carcinog. 28:63-69, 2000.
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