The enzymes responsible for the posttranslational processing of precursor proteins to form alpha-amidated peptide hormones require the availability of several cofactors, including zinc, copper and ascorbate ions. Major changes in the availability of these cofactors, as well as the rate of hormone precursor conversion to active hormone, occur during neonatal development, aging and caloric restriction. The effects of 6 weeks of a zinc-deficient (ZD1) diet, pair feeding (PF) and partial zinc deficiency (ZD6) compared to a control diet on the enzymatic cleavage and processing of prepro-TRH to form TRH have been studied in the hypothalamus, brain, and pituitary of young adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Reverse phase high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed that TRH was the major TRH-IR component of the hypothalamus, brain and pituitary. The effect of zinc deficiency on the TRH-Gly-IR HPLC profile of rat brain was to reduce selectively the are of the peaks for TRH-Gly and other low molecular weight pro-TRH peptide fragments with a C-terminal Gly compared to the corresponding TRH-Gly-IR peaks of the control group. We conclude that the processing of prepro-TRH to form TRH is zinc dependent via posttranslational processing enzymes such as carboxypeptidase H.
Pekary AE, Lukaski HC, Mena I, Hershman JM. Processing of TRH precursor peptides in rat brain and pituitary is zinc dependent. Peptides. 1991 September Endocrinology Research Laboratory, Veterans Administration Wadsworth Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90073.