Cell itinerary and metabolic fate of proinsulin in rat liver: in vivo and in vitro studies.

Intitut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale U567 and CentreNational de la Recherche Scientifique Unite Mixte de Recherche 8104, Paris, France. desbuquois@cochin.inserm.fr.
Proinsulin, the insulin precursor in pancreatic beta-cells, displays a slower hepatic clearance than insulin and exerts a more prolonged metabolic effect on liver in vivo. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying these differences, the cellular itinerary and processing of proinsulin and insulin in rat liver have been comparatively studied using cell fractionation. As [125I]-insulin, [125I]-proinsulin taken up into liver in vivo was internalized and accumulated in endosomes, in which it underwent dissociation from the insulin receptor and degradation in a pH- and ATP-dependent manner. However, relative to [125I]-insulin, [125I]-proinsulin showed a delayed and prolonged in vivo association with endosomes, a slower in vivo and cell-free endosomal processing, and a higher cell-free endosome-lysosome transfer. Endosomal extracts degraded to a lesser extent proinsulin than insulin at acidic pH; so did, and even proportionally less, at neutral pH, plasma membrane and cytosolic fractions. Proinsulin degradation products generated by soluble endosomal extracts were isolated by HPLC and characterized by mass spectrometry. Under conditions resulting in multiple cleavages in insulin, proinsulin was cleaved at eight bonds in the C peptide but only at the Phe24-Phe25 bond in the insulin moiety. As native insulin, native proinsulin induced a dose- and time-dependent endocytosis and tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor; but at an inframaximal dose, proinsulin effects on these processes were of longer duration. We conclude that a reduced proteolysis of proinsulin in endosomes, and probably also at the plasma membrane, accounts for its slower hepatic clearance and prolonged effects on insulin receptor endocytosis and tyrosine phosphorylation.
Mesh Terms:
Animals, Cell-Free System, Endocytosis, Endosomes, Hypoglycemic Agents, In Vitro Techniques, Insulin, Iodine Radioisotopes, Liver, Lysosomes, Male, Phosphorylation, Proinsulin, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptor, Insulin, Subcellular Fractions, Tyrosine
Endocrinology Dec. 01, 2003; 144(12);5308-21 [PUBMED:12970169]
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