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Sabrina Diano"Prolyl carboxypeptidase: A new hypothalamic player in the regulation of energy metabolism"

Abstract :

A component of the hypothalamic melanocortin system, α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (a-MSH)-expressing neurons are important regulators of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis.
Alpha-MSH undergoes extensive posttranslational processing, and its in vivo activity is short lived due to rapid inactivation. The enzymatic control of α-MSH maturation and inactivation is incompletely understood. Studies from my laboratory identified Prolyl carboxypeptidase (PRCP) as the enzyme responsible for α-MSH degradation. In support of this, Prcp-null mice have elevated levels of α-MSH in the hypothalamus and are leaner and shorter than the wild-type controls on a regular chow diet. Furthermore, they show resistance to high-fat diet–induced obesity. Our results suggest that PRCP is an important component of melanocortin signaling and weight maintenance via control of active α-MSH levels.

Selected publications

New aspects of melanocortin signaling: a role for PRCP in α-MSH degradation. Diano S. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2011 Jan;32(1):70-83. Epub 2010 Oct 25.
Corticosterone regulates synaptic input organization of POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons in adult mice. Gyengesi E, Liu ZW, D'Agostino G, Gan G, Horvath TL, Gao XB, Diano S. Endocrinology. 2010 Nov;151(11):5395-402. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Diano S, Horvath TL. (2010) A sympathetic view on free radicals in diabetes. Neuron 66(6):809-11.

Daniela Cota