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Molecular cloning of a preprohormone from sea anemones containing numerous copies of a metamorphosis-inducing neuropeptide: a likely role for dipeptidyl aminopeptidase in neuropeptide precursor processing

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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.
TidsskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Udgave nummer25
Sider (fra-til)11647-51
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 5 dec. 1995

ID: 33513751