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Journal of Ovarian Research

, 6:91

First Online: 11 December 2013Received: 18 October 2013Accepted: 06 December 2013


BackgroundProprotein convertases are a family of serine proteinases that are related to bacterial subtilisin and yeast kexin. They are involved in posttranslational processing of the precursors of a vast number of cellular proteins. With the exception of PC1-3, the relative expression levels of the proprotein convertases in the ovary during pregnancy have not been reported. The purpose of this study is to determine by real-time PCR the relative expression levels of all nine proprotein convertases in rat ovaries during pregnancy and at 3 days postpartum.

MethodsRNA was extracted from ovaries at Day 0, 4, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, and 20 of pregnancy as well as 3 days postpartum. Relative expression levels of Pcsk1, Pcsk2, Furin, Pcsk4, Pcsk5, Pcsk6, Pcsk7, Mbtps1 and Pcsk9 were determined with real-time PCR. Results were reported as fold-change over the level at Day 0 of pregnancy.

ResultsResults showed that Pcsk1 and Pcsk6 were upregulated as gestation advanced, in parallel with an observed increase in relaxin transcript. Pcsk2 showed downregulation as gestation advanced, while Pcsk5 showed relatively higher levels in early pregnancy and postpartum, but lower level in mid-pregnancy. On the other hand, Furin, Pcsk4, Pcsk7, Mbtps1 and Pcsk9 showed little change of expression throughout gestation.

ConclusionPC1-3 PCSK1 and PACE4 PCSK6 may play an important role in proprotein processing in the ovary during late pregnancy.

KeywordsProhormone convertase Gene expression Posttranslational processing AbbreviationsActbβ-actin gene

Mbtps1Membrane-bound transcription factor peptidase, site 1 gene

NARC-1Neural apoptosis-regulated convertase-1

PACE4Paired amino acid converting enzyme 4

PCProprotein convertase

PCRPolymerase chain reaction

PCSKProprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin


S1PSite-1 protease

siRNAsmall interfering RNA

SKI-1Subtilisin-kexin-like isozyme-1

TGFβTransforming growth factor beta.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1757-2215-6-91 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Simon CM Kwok - Damayanti Chakraborty - Michael J Soares - Guoli Dai


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