Prolyl Carboxypeptidase Activity Is Present in Human Adipose Tissue and Is Elevated in Serum of Obese Men with Type 2 Diabetes

Emilie De Hert, Kenneth Verboven, Kristiaan Wouters, Johan W E Jocken, Ingrid De Meester*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Prolyl carboxypeptidase (PRCP) is involved in metabolic disorders by hydrolyzing anorexigenic peptides. A link between serum PRCP activity and obesity has been reported, but its origin/source is still unclear. Previously proven correlations between human serum PRCP activity and the amount of adipose tissue may suggest that adipose tissue is an important source of circulating PRCP. We investigated PRCP activity in visceral, subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SCAT), skeletal muscle tissue and serum of lean and obese men with or without type 2 diabetes (T2D). Correlations between PRCP activity, metabolic and biochemical parameters and immune cell populations were assessed. PRCP activity was the highest in VAT, compared to SCAT, and was very low in skeletal muscle tissue in the overall group. Serum PRCP activity was significantly higher in T2-diabetic obese men, compared to lean and obese non-diabetic men, and was positively correlated with glycemic control. A positive correlation was observed between serum PRCP activity and VAT immune cell populations, which might indicate that circulating PRCP activity is deriving rather from the immune fraction than from adipocytes. In conclusion, PRCP activity was observed in human adipose tissue for the first time and serum PRCP activity is correlated with T2D in obese men.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13529
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2022


  • Male
  • Humans
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications
  • Obesity/metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue/metabolism
  • Subcutaneous Fat/metabolism
  • Carboxypeptidases/metabolism

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