Catabolism of neurotensin in the epithelial layer of porcine small intestine

Christopher Shaw, Rüdiger Göke, Nigel W. Bunnett, J. Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mammalian small intestine is both a source and a site of degradation of neurotensin. Metabolites produced by incubation of the peptide with dispersed enterocytes from porcine small intestine were isolated by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified by amino-acid analysis. The principal sites of cleavage were at the Tyr-11-Ile-12 bond, generating neurotensin-(1-11), and at the Pro-10-Tyr-11 bond, generating neurotensin-(1-10). The corresponding COOH-terminal fragments, neurotensin-(11-13) and -(12-13) were metabolized further. Formation of neurotensin-(1-11) and -(1-10) was completely inhibited by phosphoramidon (Ki = 6 nM), an inhibitor of endopeptidase 24.11, but not by captopril, an inhibitor of peptidyl dipeptidase A. Incubation of neurotensin with purified endopeptidase 24.11 from pig stomach also resulted in cleavage of the Tyr-11-Ile-12 and Pro-10-Tyr-11 bonds. A minor pathway of cell-surface-mediated degradation was the phosphoramidon-insensitive cleavage of the Tyr-3-Glu-4 bond, generating neurotensin-(1-3) and neurotensin-(4-13). No evidence for specific binding sites (putative receptors) for neurotensin was found either on the intact enterocyte or on vesicles prepared from the basolateral membranes of the cells. Neurotensin-(1-8), the major circulating metabolite, was not formed when neurotensin(1-13) was incubated with cells, but represented a major metabolite (together with neurotensin-(1-10) when neurotensin-(1-11) was used as substrate. The study has shown that degradation of neurotensin in the epithelial layer of the small intestine is mediated principally through the action of endopeptidase 24.11, but this enzyme is probably not responsible for the production of the neurotensin fragments detected in the circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalBBA - General Subjects
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 16 1987


  • (Enterocyte)
  • Endopeptidase 24.11
  • Neurotensin catabolism
  • Peptidyl dipeptidase A
  • Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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