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Endothelin-converting enzyme is the key enzyme in the process of endothelin production. Endothelin is a peptide that plays an important role in vasoconstriction and the development of neural crest-derived cells in vertebrates. Activity assays performed on membrane extracts from Locusta migratoria brain revealed the existence of a protease activity responsible for the formation of mature endothelin-1 from its precursor, big endothelin. Cloning experiments led to a cDNA sequence (Lom ECE) with an open reading frame of 727 amino acid residues displaying all the characteristic ECE features. A comparison of ECE activity levels among different tissues of the locust showed a high enzyme activity in the gonads and midgut. RT-PCR experiments showed a wide tissue distribution of Lom ECE mRNA, with transcription being most abundant in brain tissue.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Insect Mol Biol

Publication Date

06/2003

Volume

12

Pages

233 - 240

Keywords

Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases, Base Sequence, Cloning, Molecular, Endothelin-Converting Enzymes, Endothelins, Genes, Insect, Grasshoppers, Insect Proteins, Membrane Proteins, Metalloendopeptidases, Molecular Sequence Data, RNA, Messenger, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Analysis, DNA