Peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase (PAM: EC is a bifunctional protein which catalyzes the COOH-terminal amidation of bioactive peptides; the NH2-terminal monooxygenase and mid-region lyase act in sequence to perform the peptide alpha-amidation reaction. Alternative splicing of the single PAM gene gives rise to mRNAs generating PAM proteins with and without a putative transmembrane domain, with and without a linker region between the two enzymes, and forms containing only the monooxygenase domain. The expression, endoproteolytic processing, storage, and secretion of this secretory granule-associated protein were examined after stable transfection of AtT-20 mouse pituitary cells with naturally occurring and truncated PAM proteins. The transfected proteins were examined using enzyme assays, subcellular fractionation, Western blotting, and immunocytochemistry. Western blots of crude membrane and soluble fractions of transfected cells demonstrated that all PAM proteins were endoproteolytically processed. When the linker region was present between the monooxygenase and lyase domains, monofunctional soluble enzymes were generated from bifunctional PAM proteins; without the linker region, bifunctional enzymes were generated. Soluble forms of PAM expressed in AtT-20 cells and soluble proteins generated through selective endoproteolysis of membrane-associated PAM were secreted in an active form into the medium; secretion of the transfected proteins and endogenous hormone were stimulated in parallel by secretagogues. PAM proteins were localized by immunocytochemistry in the perinuclear region near the Golgi apparatus and in secretory granules, with the greatest intensity of staining in the perinuclear region in cell lines expressing integral membrane forms of PAM. Monofunctional and bifunctional PAM proteins that were soluble or membrane-associated were all packaged into regulated secretory granules in AtT-20 cells.

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