Primary structure of the precursor for the sea anemone neuropeptide Antho-RFamide (less than Glu-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2).
ABSTRACT: Neuropeptides containing the carboxylterminal sequence Arg-Phe-NH2 are found throughout the animal kingdom and are important substances mediating neuronal communication. Here, we have cloned the cDNA coding for the precursor protein of the sea anemone neuropeptide (Antho-RFamide) less than Glu-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2. This precursor is 334 amino acids in length and contains 19 copies of unprocessed Antho-RFamide (Gln-Gly-Arg-Phe-Gly), which are tandemly arranged in the C-terminal part of the protein. Paired basic residues (Lys-Arg) or single basic residues (Arg) occur at the C-terminal side of each Antho-RFamide sequence. These are likely signals for posttranslational cleavage. The processing signals at the N-terminal side of each Antho-RFamide sequence, however, include acidic residues. Processing at these amino acids must involve either an amino- or an endopeptidase that cleaves C-terminally of aspartic acid or glutamic acid residues. Such processing is, to our knowledge, hitherto unknown for peptidergic neurons. The Antho-RFamide precursor also contains two copies of the putative Antho-RFamide-related peptide Phe-Gln-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2 and one copy of Tyr-Val-Pro-Gly-Arg-Tyr-NH2. In addition, the precursor protein harbors four other putative neuropeptides that are much less related to Antho-RFamide. This report shows that the biosynthetic machinery for neuropeptides in coelenterates, the lowest animal group having a nervous system, is already very efficient and similar to that of higher invertebrates, such as mollusks and insects, and vertebrates.
Project description:Neuropeptides containing the C-terminal sequence Arg-Phe-NH2 (RFamide) occur throughout the Animal Kingdom and are abundant in evolutionarily 'old' nervous systems such as those of cnidarians. From the hydromedusa Polyorchis penicillatus we have previously isolated two neuropeptides, Pol-RFamide I (<Glu-Leu-Leu-Gly-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2) and Pol-RFamide II (<Glu-Trp-Leu-Lys-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2). Here we describe the cloning of a common precursor protein for these peptides from P. penicillatus. The precursor protein contains one copy of Pol-RFamide I, 11 copies of Pol-RFamide II and one putative neuropeptide sequence. The Pol-RFamide I sequence is flanked by pairs of basic residues (Arg-Lys). At the C-termini of all Pol-RFamide II sequences, single basic residues (Arg) occur. Paired and single basic residues are established sites for post-translational precursor cleavage. At the N-termini of the Pol-RFamide II sequences, however, basic residues are lacking and, instead, either single Asp (in eight cases) or single Asn residues (in three cases) occur. This means that processing must take place at Asp and/or Asn residues. This is firm evidence for the presence of one or more unconventional processing enzymes. The first type of processing enzyme could be an endoproteinase or aminopeptidase hydrolysing at the C-terminal side of Asp residues. Proteolytic cleavage at acidic amino acid residues has previously been inferred from other cnidarian neuropeptide precursors. The second type of processing enzyme could be an endoproteinase or aminopeptidase hydrolysing at the C-terminal side of Asn residues.
Project description:Neuropeptides are an important group of hormones mediating or modulating neuronal communication. Neuropeptides are especially abundant in evolutionarily "old" nervous systems, such as those of cnidarians, the lowest animal group having a nervous system. Cnidarians often have a life cycle including a polyp, a medusa, and a planula larva stage. Recently, a neuropeptide, < Glu-Gln-Pro-Gly-Leu-Trp-NH2, has been isolated from sea anemones that induces metamorphosis in a hydroid planula larva to become a hydropolyp [Leitz, T., Morand, K. & Mann, M. (1994) Dev. Biol. 163, 440-446]. Here, we have cloned the precursor protein for this metamorphosis-inducing neuropeptide from sea anemones. The precursor protein is 514-amino acid residues long and contains 10 copies of the immature, authentic neuropeptide (Gln-Gln-Pro-Gly-Leu-Trp-Gly). All neuropeptide copies are preceded by Xaa-Pro or Xaa-Ala sequences, suggesting a role for dipeptidyl aminopeptidase in neuropeptide precursor processing. In addition to these neuropeptide copies, there are 14 copies of another, closely related neuropeptide sequence (Gln-Asn-Pro-Gly-Leu-Trp-Gly). These copies are flanked by basic cleavage sites and, therefore, are likely to be released from the precursor protein. Furthermore, there are 13 other, related neuropeptide sequences having only small sequence variations (the most frequent sequence: Gln-Pro-Gly-Leu-Trp-Gly, eight copies). These variants are preceded by Lys-Arg, Xaa-Ala, or Xaa-Pro sequences, and are followed by basic cleavage sites, and therefore, are also likely to be produced from the precursor. Thus, there are at least 37 closely related neuropeptides localized on the precursor protein, making this precursor one of the most productive preprohormones known so far. This report also shows that unusual processing sites are common in cnidarian preprohormones.
Project description:Background:The terrestrial slug Limax has long been used as a model for the study of olfactory information processing and odor learning. Olfactory inputs from the olfactory epithelium are processed in the tentacular ganglion and then in the procerebrum. Glutamate and acetylcholine are the major neurotransmitters used in the procerebrum. Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of the network activity of the procerebrum. Although there are thought to be various RFamide family peptides other than FMRFamide that are potentially recognized by anti-FMRFamide antibody in the central nervous system of mollusks, identifying the entire repertoire of RFamide peptides in Limax has yet to be achieved. Methods:In the present study, we made a comprehensive search for RFamide peptide-encoding genes from the transcriptome data of Limax, and identified 12 genes. The expression maps of these RFamide genes were constructed by in situ hybridization in the cerebral ganglia including the procerebrum, and in the superior/inferior tentacles. Results:Ten of 12 genes were expressed in the procerebrum, and nine of 12 genes were expressed in the tentacular ganglia. Gly-Ser-Leu-Phe-Arg-Phe-NH2 (GSLFRFamide), which is encoded by two different genes, LFRFamide1 (Leu-Phe-Arg-Phe-NH2-1) and LFRFamide2 (Leu-Phe-Arg-Phe-NH2-2), decreased the oscillatory frequency of the local field potential oscillation in the procerebrum when exogenously applied in vitro. We also found by immunohistochemistry that the neurons expressing pedal peptide send efferent projections from the procerebrum back to the tentacular ganglion. Conclusion:Our findings suggest the involvement of a far wider variety of RFamide family peptides in the olfactory information processing in Limax than previously thought.
Project description:The freshwater polyp Hydra is the most frequently used model for the study of development in cnidarians. Recently we isolated four novel Arg-Phe-NH2 (RFamide) neuropeptides, the Hydra-RFamides I-IV, from Hydra magnipapillata. Here we describe the molecular cloning of three different preprohormones from H. magnipapillata, each of which gives rise to a variety of RFamide neuropeptides. Preprohormone A contains one copy of unprocessed Hydra-RFamide I (QWLGGRFG), II (QWFNGRFG), III/IV [(KP)HLRGRFG] and two putative neuropeptide sequences (QLMSGRFG and QLMRGRFG). Preprohormone B has the same general organization as preprohormone A, but instead of unprocessed Hydra-RFamide III/IV it contains a slightly different neuropeptide sequence [(KP)HYRGRFG]. Preprohormone C contains one copy of unprocessed Hydra-RFamide I and seven additional putative neuropeptide sequences (with the common N-terminal sequence QWF/LSGRFGL). The two Hydra-RFamide II copies (in preprohormones A and B) are preceded by Thr residues, and the single Hydra-RFamide III/IV copy (in preprohormone A) is preceded by an Asn residue, confirming that cnidarians use unconventional processing signals to generate neuropeptides from their precursor proteins. Southern blot analyses suggest that preprohormones A and B are each coded for by a single gene, whereas one or possibly two closely related genes code for preprohormone C. Northern blot analyses and in situ hybridizations show that the gene coding for preprohormone A is expressed in neurons of both the head and foot regions of Hydra, whereas the genes coding for preprohormones B and C are specifically expressed in neurons of different regions of the head. All of this shows that neuropeptide biosynthesis in the primitive metazoan Hydra is already rather complex.
Project description:Peptidergic neurons, which serve as source of various endocrine neuropeptides, were identified in the suboesophageal ganglion (SG) and brain of insects. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, SG is known to secrete two neuropeptides, diapause hormone (DH) responsible for induction of embryonic diapause and pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide, which share a pentapeptide amide, Phe-Xaa-Pro-Arg-Leu-NH2 (Xaa = Gly or Ser), at the C terminus. We have isolated cDNA clones for DH from the cDNA library of SG by using oligonucleotide probes. The molecular characterization of the cDNA reveals that the mRNA encodes an open reading frame consisting of 192 aa residues in which the 24-aa DH peptide is localized at the N-terminal region just after the signal peptide. A homology search proposed that the cDNA encodes pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide and three other neuropeptides [alpha-, beta-, and gamma-SG neuropeptide (SGNP)] in the region following DH, all of which are flanked by possible tryptic cleavage sites and share the Phe-Xaa-Pro-Arg-Leu-Gly sequence at the C terminus. Northern hybridization analysis clearly showed that the gene expression was limited to SG. We chemically synthesized alpha-, beta-, and gamma-SGNP and used them to identify components in extracts of SG and to examine biological functions, alpha- and gamma-SGNP were identified in extracts of SG, and the synthetic beta- and gamma-SGNP expressed weak DH activity. These results indicate that DH, along with four other neuropeptides, is generated from a common precursor polyprotein that is encoded by a single mRNA transcribed in neurosecretory cells of SG.
Project description:The N-terminal 72 residues of an integral membrane fragment, P5, of the human erythrocyte anion-transport protein, which is known to be directly involved in the anion-exchange process, was shown to have the following amino acid sequence: Met-Val-Pro-Lys-Pro-Gln-Gly-Pro-Leu-Pro-Asn-Thr-Ala-Leu-Leu-Ser-Leu-Val-Leu-Met -Ala-Gly-Thr-Phe-Phe-Phe-Ala-Met-Met-Leu-Arg-Lys-Phe-Lys-Asn-Ser-Ser-Tyr-Phe-Pro-Gly-Lys-Leu-Arg-Arg-Val-Ile-Gly-Asp-Phe-Gly-Val-Pro-Ile-Ser-Ile-Leu-Ile-Met-Val-Leu-Val-Asp-Phe-Phe-Ile-Gln-Asp-Thr-Tyr-Thr-Gln- The structure of this fragment was analysed, with account being taken of the constraints that apply to the folding of integral membrane proteins and the topographical locations of various sites in the sequence. It was concluded that this sequence forms two transmembrane alpha-helices. These are probably part of a cluster of amphipathic transmembrane alpha-helices, which could comprise that part of the protein responsible for transport activity. The presently available evidence relating to the anion-exchange process was considered with the structural features noted in this study and a possible molecular mechanism is proposed. In this model the rearrangement of a network of intramembranous charged pairs mediates the translocation of an anion between anion-binding regions at each surface of the membrane, which are composed of clusters of positively charged amino acids. This model imposes a sequential exchange mechanism on the system. Supplementary material, including Tables and Figures describing the compositions of peptides determined by amino acid analysis and sequence studies, quantitative and qualitative data that provide a residue-by-residue justification for the sequence assignment and a description of modifications to and use of the solid-phase sequencer has been deposited as Supplementary Publication SUP 50123 (12 pages) with the British Library Lending Division, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ, U.K., from whom copies can be obtained as indicated in Biochem. J. (1983) 209, 5.
Project description:Insulin was isolated from an extract of the pancreas of a urodele, the three-toed amphiuma (Amphiuma tridactylum), and its primary structure established as Ala-Arg-Gly-Ile-Val-Glu-Gln-Cys-Cys-His10-Asn-Thr-Cys- Ser-Leu-Asn-Gln-Leu-Glu-Asn20-Tyr-Cys-Asn for the A-chain and Ile-Thr-Asn-Gln-Tyr-Leu-Cys-Gly-Ser-His10-Leu-Val-Glu-Ala- Leu-Tyr-Leu-Val-Cys-Gly20-Asp-Arg-Gly-Phe-Phe-Tyr-Ser-Pro-Lys for the B-chain. The N-terminus of the A-chain is extended by two amino acids (Ala-Arg) relative to all other known insulins suggesting an anomalous pathway of post-translational processing in the region of the C-peptide/A-chain junction of proinsulin. In common with chicken and Xenopus insulins, which contain a HisA8, amphiuma insulin was more potent (approx. 5-fold) than porcine insulin in inhibiting the binding of [125I-TyrA14]insulin to the soluble human insulin receptor from transfected 293EBNA cells (an adenovirus-transformed human kidney cell line). This result is consistent with previous data showing that insulin analogues extended at GlyA1 by uncharged groups have reduced binding affinity whereas high affinity is preserved in analogues extended by basic amino acid residues.
Project description:Radiolabeled bombesin analogs are promising probes for cancer imaging of gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR). In this study, we developed (18)F-labeled GRPR agonists and antagonists for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of prostate cancer. GRPR antagonists ATBBN (D-Phe-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Leu-NHCH(2)CH(3)) and MATBBN (Gly-Gly-Gly-Arg-Asp-Asn-D-Phe-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Leu-NHCH(2)CH(3)), and agonists AGBBN (Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Leu-MetNH(2)) and MAGBBN (Gly-Gly-Gly-Arg-Asp-Asn-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Leu-MetNH(2)) were radiolabeled with (18)F via 4-nitrophenyl 2-(18)F-fluoropropionate. The in vitro receptor binding, cell uptake, and efflux properties of the radiotracers were studied on PC-3 cells. An in vivo PET study was performed on mice bearing PC-3 tumors. Direct (18)F-labeling of known GRPR antagonist ATBBN and agonist AGBBN did not result in good tumor targeting or appropriate pharmacokinetics. Modification was made by introducing a highly hydrophilic linker Gly-Gly-Gly-Arg-Asp-Asn. Higher receptor binding affinity, much higher cell uptake and slower washout were observed for the agonist (18)F-FP-MAGBBN over the antagonist (18)F-FP-MATBBN. Both tracers showed good tumor/background contrast, with the agonist (18)F-FP-MAGBBN having significantly higher tumor uptake than the antagonist (18)F-FP-MATBBN (P < 0.01). In conclusion, Gly-Gly-Gly-Arg-Asp-Asn linker significantly improved the pharmacokinetics of the otherwise hydrophobic BBN radiotracers. (18)F-labeled BBN peptide agonists may be the probes of choice for prostate cancer imaging due to their relatively high tumor uptake and retention as compared with the antagonist counterparts.
Project description:Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide)-like peptides (FLPs) are the largest neuropeptide family in animals, particularly invertebrates. FLPs are characterized by a C-N-terminal gradient of decreasing amino acid conservation. Neuropeptide receptor 1 (NPR-1) is a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), which has been shown to be a strong regulator of foraging behavior and aggregation responses in Caenorhabditis elegans. Recently, ligands for NPR-1 were identified as neuropeptides coded by the precursor genes flp-18 and flp-21 in C. elegans. The flp-18 gene encodes eight FLPs including DFDGAMPGVLRF-NH2 and EMPGVLRF-NH2. These peptides exhibit considerably different activities on NPR-1, with the longer one showing a lower potency. We have used nuclear magnetic resonance and biological activity to investigate structural features that may explain these activity differences. Our data demonstrate that long-range electrostatic interactions exist between N-terminal aspartates and the C-terminal penultimate arginine as well as N-terminal hydrogen-bonding interactions that form transient loops within DFDGAMPGVLRF-NH2. We hypothesize that these loops, along with peptide charge, diminish the activity of this peptide on NPR-1 relative to that of EMPGVLRF-NH2. These results provide some insight into the large amino acid diversity in FLPs.
Project description:Insect peptidyl-dipeptidase A [angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE)] is a soluble single-domain peptidyl-dipeptidase that has many properties in common with the C-domain of mammalian somatic ACE and with the single-domain mammalian germinal ACE. Mammalian somatic ACE is important in blood homoeostasis, but the role of ACE in insects is not known. Immunocytochemistry has been used to localize ACE in the neuroendocrine system of the locust, Locusta migratoria. Staining was observed in five groups of neurosecretory cells in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion, in the nervi corpori cardiaci, the storage part of the corpora cardiaca and in the nervi corpori allati. In three groups of neurosecretory cells, ACE co-localized with locustamyotropins, suggesting a possible role for the enzyme in the metabolism of these neuropeptides. We demonstrate in vitro a novel activity of ACE that removes pairs of basic amino acid residues from a locustamyotropin peptide extended at the C-terminus with either Gly-Lys-Arg or Gly-Arg-Arg, corresponding to a consensus recognition sequence for endoproteolysis of prohormone proteins by prohormone convertases. The low Km and high kcat values (Km 7.3 and 5.0 microM, kcat 226 and 207 s-1 for the hydrolysis of Phe-Ser-Pro-Arg-Leu-Gly-Lys-Arg and Phe-Ser-Pro-Arg-Leu-Gly-Arg-Arg, respectively) obtained for the hydrolysis of these two peptides by insect ACE means that these peptides, along with mammalian bradykinin, are the most favoured in vitro ACE substrates so far identified. The discovery of this in vitro prohormone-processing activity of insect ACE provides a possible explanation for the intracellular co-localization of the enzyme with locustamyotropin peptides, and provides evidence for a new role for ACE in the biosynthesis of peptide hormones and transmitters.