Chymotrypsin gene expression in rat peripheral organs
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Prior studies have revealed the presence of chymotrypsinlike protease in peripheral organs, although no definitive evidence for the synthesis of this enzyme in tissue other than the pancreas is available. In an attempt to detect chymotrypsinogen mRNA in peripheral organs, a fragment of the pancreatic chymotrypsin mRNA from rat was amplified using PCR. The sequence was identified as a portion of the rat chymotrypsin B gene overlapping exon 5 through exon 7. It was subcloned into the pGEM-4Z vector and used as a template for the vitro transcription of an antisense riboprobe. Using ribonuclease protection and Northern blot analyses, chymotrypsin mRNA was detected in the rat pancreas, stomach, duodenum, ovary, and spleen. Monoclonal and polyclonal antisera against chymotrypsin detected chymotrypsinlike immunoreactivity in rat and human pancreas, rat stomach, duodenum and jejunum. Electrophoresis and immunoblotting revealed chymotrypsin-chymotrypsinogen bands (25–29 kDa) in the stomach and duodenum. Synthesis of a potent protease such as chymotrypsin in tissue other than pancreas is significant, suggesting a potential physiological and/or pathological role in these tissues.
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