Biosynthesis of calcitonin by a rat medullary thyroid carcinoma cell line

R. S. Birnbaum, W. C. Mahoney, B. A. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The 32-amino acid form of the peptide hormone calcitonin is the product of a series of post-translational processing steps of a 13,400-dalton precursor, procalcitonin. We have now identified the steps involved in proteolytic paring of the precursor to the mature secretory form. Cultures of the CA-77 cell line were radiolabeled and the various forms of calcitonin were isolated by specific immunoprecipitation followed by fractionation on gel filtration and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Pulse-chase kinetics showed that procalcitonin was cleaved to a 6,500-dalton biosynthetic intermediate which was subsequently processed to the size of mature calcitonin (3,400 daltons). Partial microsequencing of the [35S] methionine-labeled intermediate indicated that the sequence consisted of the COOH-terminal 52 residues of procalcitonin. Partial microsequencing of the [35S]methionine- or [3H]proline-labeled 3,400-dalton species revealed that it was indistinguishable from naturally occurring, amidated calcitonin. These data define the major pathway for calcitonin biosynthesis in this neoplastic cell line and presumably in normal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-703
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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