Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences




α-amidation is a final, essential step in the biosynthesis of about half of all peptide hormones and neurotransmitters. Peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM), with enzymatic domains that utilize Cu and Zn, is the only enzyme that catalyzes this reaction. PAM activity is detected in serum, but its significance and utility as a clinical biomarker remain unexplored.


We used well-established enzymatic assays specific for the peptidylglycine-α -hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM) and peptidyl-α-hydroxyglycine α-amidating lyase (PAL) domains of PAM to quantify amidating activity in the sera of 144 elderly men. Relationships between PHM and PAL activity and serum levels of their respective active-site metals, Cu and Zn, were analyzed. Study participants were also genotyped for eight non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PAM, and relationships between genotype and serum enzyme activity and metal levels were analyzed.


Serum PHM and PAL activities were normally distributed and correlated linearly with each other. Serum PAL activity, but not serum PHM activity, correlated with serum Cu; neither activity correlated with serum Zn. Study subjects possessing the minor alleles for rs32680 had lower PHM and PAL activities, and subjects with minor alleles for rs11952361 and rs10515341 had lower PHM activities.


Our results characterize large variation in serum amidating activity and provide unique insight into its potential origin and determinants. Common non-coding polymorphisms affect serum amidating activity and Cu levels. Serum amidating activity should be explored as a biomarker for functionality in the elderly and in additional study groups.


Originally published in :

BMC Endocrine Disorders 2014, 14:58 doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-58

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© 2014 Gaier et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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