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The 22K variant of rat prolactin: evidence for identity to prolactin-(1-173), storage in secretory granules, and regulated release



The 22K variant of rat prolactin: evidence for identity to prolactin-(1-173), storage in secretory granules, and regulated release



Endocrinology 132(2): 806-814



Western blot analyses of the rat pituitary have detected a 22K PRL variant distinct from intact PRL (25K). We recently reported that glandular kallikrein (GK), an estrogen-induced lactotroph protease, can process PRL in vitro from a 25K form to a 22K form in a thiol-dependent cleavage at Arg174-Arg175 to remove 23 amino acids. We also detected an estrogen- and thiol-induced 22K PRL variant in the rat pituitary comigrating with a PRL product generated by in vitro processing with GK and carboxypeptidase-B. This study addressed whether the in vivo 22K PRL variant originates through a GK-like cleavage and is a regulated secretory product of the rat pituitary. A polyclonal antipeptide antiserum was raised against a synthetic peptide [PRL-(163-173)] representing the new C-terminus after GK and carboxypeptidase-B processing. In slot and Western blots, this antiserum (CT-antiserum) specifically recognized PRL processed in vitro by GK and carboxypeptidase-B and did not recognize intact PRL or PRL cleaved by GK alone. Western blot analysis of rat pituitary extracts with CT-antiserum specifically detected an estrogen- and thiol-induced 22K band that comigrated with a PRL product generated by in vitro processing with GK and carboxypeptidase-B. This 22K band was concentrated in subcellular fractions of the pituitary enriched in secretory granules. During short term incubations in medium 199, pituitaries from normal adult female rats released substantial amounts of 22K PRL; in contrast, male pituitaries did not release detectable 22K PRL. The release of 22K PRL from female pituitaries was powerfully blocked by bromocriptine, a dopaminergic agonist. GK was also released from pituitaries of female, but not male, rats, and GK release was inhibited by bromocriptine. The results identify the 22K PRL variant as PRL-(1-173), which is consistent with GK-like processing at Arg174-Arg175, followed by carboxypeptidase-B-like processing. The results also show that 22K PRL is a natural female-specific secretory product of the rat pituitary under inhibitory dopaminergic control.

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Accession: 002511223

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PMID: 8425495

DOI: 10.1210/endo.132.2.8425495



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