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Br J Pharmacol. 1999 May;127(2):489-97.

Synergistic effect with Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 of the C-terminal of substance P and insulin-like growth factor-1 on epithelial wound healing of rabbit cornea.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Ube City, Japan.


1. We previously reported that substance P and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) synergistically stimulate corneal epithelial wound healing in vitro and in vivo. We wished to identify which portion of the amino acid sequence of substance P might be responsible for this synergism. 2. Corneal epithelial migration was not affected by the addition of any one of the following factors: substance P; Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 (C-terminal of substance P); Val-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 (C-terminal of neurokinin A, neurokinin B, and kassinin); Tyr-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 (C-terminal of physalaemin); Ile-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 (C-terminal of eledoisin); or Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 (common C-terminal of tachykinins). 3. In the presence of IGF-1, only substance P and Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 were synergistic in stimulating corneal epithelial migration in a dose-dependent fashion. 4. The combination of Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 and IGF-1 did not affect the incorporation of [3H]-thymidine into corneal epithelial cells. 5. Treatment with Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 and IGF-1, but not with Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 or IGF-1 alone, increased attachment of corneal epithelial cells to a fibronectin matrix. 6. The levels of alpha5 and beta1 integrin were not affected by Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 or IGF-1 alone, but they were significantly increased by the combination of Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2 and IGF-1. 7. Topical application of the same combination facilitated corneal epithelial wound closure in vivo. 8. These results demonstrated that Phe-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2, a sequence of 4 amino-acids of the C-terminal of substance P, is the minimum sequence necessary to produce the synergistic effects of substance P and IGF-1 on corneal epithelial wound healing.

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