LINDA CAROLYN LOPEZ, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Glucagon is a 29 amino acid polypeptide hormone produced in the (alpha) cells of the pancreatic islets. The purpose of this research was to understand better the role of glucagon in the regulation of metabolic processes. As with other polypeptide hormones, the synthesis of glucagon is thought to involve a larger precursor, which is then enzymatically cleaved to the functional form. The specific research objectives were to obtain cloned copies of the messenger RNA (mRNA) for pancreatic glucagon, to determine their primary sequences, and from this coding information to deduce the amino acid sequence of the initial glucagon precursor. From this suggested preproglucagon sequence and prior information on possible proglucagon intermediate processing products, the overall objective of this research is to propose a possible pathway for the biosynthesis of pancreatic glucagon. Synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide probes of 14-nucleotides (14-mer) and 17-nucleotides (a 17-mer) complementary to codons specifying a unique sequence of mature glucagon were synthesized. The ('32)P-labeled-14-mer was hybridized with size-fractionated fetal bovine pancreatic poly(A('+))RNA bound to nitrocellulose. RNA fractions of (TURN)14S were found to hybridize specifically, resulting in an (TURN)10-fold enrichment for these sequences. These poly(A('+))RNAs were translated in a cell-free system and the products analyzed by gel electrophoresis. The translation products were found to be enriched for a protein of the putative size of mammalian preproglucagon ((TURN)21 kd). These enriched RNA fractions were used to construct a complementary DNA (cDNA) library is plasmid pBR322. Screening of duplicate colony filters with the ('32)P-labeled-17-mer and a ('32)P-labeled-17-mer-primed cDNA probe indicated 25 possible glucagon clones from 3100 colonies screened. Restriction mapping of 6 of these clones suggested that they represented a single mRNA species. Primary sequence analysis of one clone containing a 1200 base pair DNA insert revealed that it contained essentially a full-length copy of glucagon cDNA. Analaysis of the cDNA suggested that it encoded an initial translation product of 180 amino acids with an M(,r) = 21 kd. The first initiation codon (ATG, methionine) followed by the longest open reading frame of 540 nucleotides was preceded by a 5'-untranslated region of 90 nucleotides, and was followed by a longer 3'-untranslated region of 471 nucleotides, resulting in a total of 1101 nucleotides. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI

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Recommended Citation

LOPEZ, LINDA CAROLYN, "GLUCAGON GENE EXPRESSION: ANALYSIS OF PREPROGLUCAGON" (1983). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8325116.