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    Common mutations in the human prohormone convertase (PC)1/3 gene (PCKSI) are linked to increased risk of obesity. Previous work has shown that the rs6232 single-nucleotide polymorphism (N221D) results in slightly decreased activity, although whether this decrease underlies obesity risk is not clear. We observed significantly decreased activity of the N221D PC1/3 enzyme at the pH of the trans-Golgi network; at this pH, the mutant enzyme was less stable than wild-type enzyme. Recombinant N221D PC1/3 also showed enhanced susceptibility to heat stress. Enhanced susceptibility to tunicamycin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress was observed in AtT-20/PC2 cell clones in which murine PC1/3 was replaced by human N221D PC1/3, as compared with wild-type human PC1/3. However, N221D PC1/3-expressing AtT-20/PC2 clones processed proopiomelanocortin to α-MSH similarly to wild-type PC1/3. We also generated a CRISPR-edited mouse line expressing the N221D mutation in the PCKSI gene. When homozygous N221D mice were fed either a standard or a high-fat diet, we found no increase in body weight compared with their wild-type sibling controls. Sexual dimorphism was observed in pituitary ACTH for both genotypes, with females exhibiting lower levels of pituitary ACTH. In contrast, hypothalamic α-MSH content for both genotypes was higher in females compared with males. Hypothalamic corticotropin-like intermediate peptide content was higher in wild-type females compared with wild-type, but not N221D, males. Taken together, these data suggest that the increased obesity risk linked to the N221D allele in humans may be due in part to PC1/3-induced loss of resilience to stressors rather than strictly to decreased enzymatic activity on peptide precursors. Copyright © 2019 Endocrine Society.


    Timothy S Jarvela, Manita Shakya, Tomas Bachor, Anne White, Malcolm J Low, Iris Lindberg. Reduced Stability and pH-Dependent Activity of a Common Obesity-Linked PCSK1 Polymorphism, N221D. Endocrinology. 2019 Nov 01;160(11):2630-2645

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    PMID: 31504391

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