Distribution of prolyl endopeptidase activities in rat and human brain

Jon Irazusta, Gorka Larrinaga, Javier González-Maeso, Javier Gil, J. Javier Meana, Luis Casis

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Prolyl endopeptidase is a protheolytic enzyme which could have a neuropeptide catabolising role in the central nervous system. Although prolyl endopeptidase has been described as a cytosolic enzyme, it has become clear that it can also be found in particulate form. The regional and subcellular distribution of this enzyme was evaluated in rat and human brain. The activity of the enzyme was higher in the human than in the rat brain. In the human brain, the activity levels of both soluble and particulate prolyl endopeptidase were the highest in frontal, parietal and occipital cortices and the lowest in the cerebellum. In the rat brain, the regional distribution of the enzyme was more homogenous. The activity in all the areas of the central nervous system is higher than in periferic tissues. Subcellular distribution of the enzyme in the brain indicates that prolyl endopeptidase was higher in the cytosolic fraction than in the particulate fractions. The particulate form was enriched in the synaptosomal and the myelinic membranes. The high activity of prolyl endopeptidase in the human cortex suggests that prolyl endopeptidase could play a role in the functions of this brain area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain cortex
  • Human brain
  • Neuropeptide degradation
  • Prolyl endopeptidase
  • Subcellular distribution


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