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Trends Neurosci. 1999 Feb;22(2):81-8.

Multiple genes for neuropeptides and their receptors: co-evolution and physiology.

Author information

1
Institut für Zellbiochemie und Klinische Neurobiologie, Universitäts-klinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf Universität Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

It is now well established that neuropeptide receptors, which are present throughout the CNS and in peripheral tissues, frequently exist in a variety of different forms (called subtypes), each of which is encoded by a distinct gene. With the recent identification of new neuropeptide genes, it has become clear that families of neuropeptides also occur, which raises the possibility that specific peptide ligands activate particular receptor subtypes preferentially. This article reviews some of the recent advances in the neuropeptide field and provides evidence in support of three ideas: (1) that different receptor subtypes for a given ligand can be distinguished physiologically; (2) that neuropeptide genes probably arose before the corresponding receptor genes; and (3) that, despite the current wealth of information on neuropeptides and neuropeptide receptors, several new members are likely to be discovered before the beginning of the next millennium.

PMID:
10092048
DOI:
10.1016/s0166-2236(98)01333-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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