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      Cloning of Proopiomelanocortin from the Brain of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and the Brain of the Western Spadefoot Toad, Spea multiplicatus

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          A degenerate primer, specific for the opioid core sequence YGGFM, was used to clone and sequence proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cDNAs from the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and from the brain of the western spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicatus. In addition, the opioid-specific primer was used to clone and sequence a 3′RACE product corresponding to a portion of the open reading frame of S. multiplicatus proenkephalin. For both species, cDNA was made from a single brain and a degenerate opioid-specific primer provided a reliable probe for detecting opioid-related cDNAs. The African lungfish POMC cDNA was 1,168 nucleotides in length, and contained regions that are similar to tetrapod POMCs and fish POMCs. The African lungfish POMC encodes a tetrapod-like γ-MSH sequence that is flanked by sets of paired basic amino acid proteolytic cleavage sites. The γ-MSH region in ray-finned fish POMCs either has degenerate cleavage sites or is totally absent in some species. However, the African lungfish γ-MSH sequence does contain a deletion which has not been observed in tetrapod γ-MSH sequences. The β-endorphin region of lungfish POMC has the di-amino acid sequence tryptophan-aspartic acid in the N-terminal region and an additional glutamic acid residue in the C-terminal region of β-endorphin – features found in fish β-endorphin, but not tetrapod β-endorphins. The western spadefoot toad POMC was 1,186 nucleotides in length, and exhibited an organizational scheme typical for tetrapod POMCs. However, the toad POMC did lack a paired basic amino acid proteolytic cleavage site N-terminal to the β-MSH sequence. Thus, like rat POMC, it is doubtful that β-MSH is an end product in either the toad brain or intermediate pituitary. At the amino acid level, the toad POMC had 76% sequence identity with Xenopus laevis POMC and 68% sequence identity with Rana ribidunda POMC. The use of these POMC sequences to assess phylogenetic relationships within anuran amphibians will be discussed. With respect to the fragment of S. multiplicatus proenkephalin cDNA, two metenkephalin sequences and the metenkephalin-RF sequence were found encoded in this fragment. As seen for X. laevis and R. ridibunda proenkephalin, a leuenkephalin sequence was not detected in the C-terminal region of the S. multiplicatus proenkephalin. The absence of a leuenkephalin sequence may be a common feature of anuran amphibian proenkephalins.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Isolation and structure of the endogenous agonist of opioid receptor-like ORL1 receptor.

          The ORL1 receptor, an orphan receptor whose human and murine complementary DNAs have recently been characterized, structurally resembles opioid receptors and is negatively coupled with adenylate cyclase. ORL1 transcripts are particularly abundant in the central nervous system. Here we report the isolation, on the basis of its ability to inhibit the cyclase in a stable recombinant CHO(ORL1+) cell line, of a neuropeptide that resembles dynorphin A9 and whose amino acid sequence is Phe-Gly-Gly-Phe-Thr-Gly-Ala-Arg-Lys-Ser-Ala-Arg-Lys-Leu-Ala-Asn-Gln. The rat-brain cDNA encodes the peptide flanked by Lys-Arg proteolytic cleavage motifs. The synthetic heptadecapeptide potently inhibits adenylate cyclase in CHO(ORL1+) cells in culture and induces hyperalgesia when administered intracerebroventricularly to mice. Taken together, these data indicate that the newly discovered heptadecapeptide is an endogenous agonist of the ORL1 receptor and that it may be endowed with pro-nociceptive properties.
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            Interacting Appetite-Regulating Pathways in the Hypothalamic Regulation of Body Weight

             S P Kalra (1999)
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              The appearance of proopiomelanocortin early in vertebrate evolution: cloning and sequencing of POMC from a Lamprey pituitary cDNA library.

              A proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-like hormone has been cloned and sequenced from a pituitary cDNA library of upstream migrant (prespawning) sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. The clone, designated LPP-1, consisted of 986 nucleotides, with an open reading frame of 277 amino acids, including a signal peptide of 22 amino acids. Like POMCs from more recently evolved vertebrates, lamprey POMC contained domains which corresponded to alpha-MSH, ACTH, and beta-endorphin. However, sequences corresponding to gamma- and beta-MSH are absent or likely nonfunctional, respectively, in this cDNA. Northern blot analyses showed low but detectable expression levels of LPP-1 in larvae and strong expression in parasitic adults and prespawning animals. These observations indicate that a recognizable POMC, distinct from proenkephalin, has an ancient lineage within subphylum Vertebrata, likely dating back to the last common ancestor of the lamprey and gnathostome lines.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 1999
                15 July 1999
                : 70
                : 1
                : 43-54
                aDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Denver, Colo., and bDepartment of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz., USA; cINSERM U-413, Institut Fédératif de Recherches Multidisciplinaires sur les Peptides, Université de Rouen, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
                54458 Neuroendocrinology 1999;70:43–54
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 43, Pages: 12
                Proopiomelanocortin, Corticotropin and Adrenal Steroid Receptors


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