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Regul Pept. 2000 Feb 8;87(1-3):47-58.

2-36[K4,RYYSA(19-23)]PP a novel Y5-receptor preferring ligand with strong stimulatory effect on food intake.

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  • 1Neurobiology Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Members of the neuropeptide Y (NPY) family regulate many physiological processes via interaction with at least four functional, pharmacologically distinct Y-receptors. However, selective antagonists developed for several subtypes have not been useful in defining particular Y-receptor functions in vivo. To identify critical residues within members of the NPY family required for Y-receptor subtype-selectivity we have determined the contribution of each residue within NPY to receptor binding by replacing them with L-alanine. In a second study, chimeric peptides where single or stretches of residues were interchanged between members of the NPY family were generated and tested in radioligand binding studies. Overall, substituted alanine analogues exhibited similar orders of affinities at each Y-receptor subtype with no obvious subtype-selectivity. Residues of particular interest are Leu30 which exhibited selectivity for the Y4-receptor, whereas Asp16 does not appear to play any role in ligand binding. Several chimeric peptides, e.g., [K4]pancreatic polypeptide ([K4]PP) and [RYYSA(19-23)]PP clearly showed higher affinity at the Y4 and Y5 subtypes compared to the Y1 and Y2 subtypes. In addition, the transfer of a proline residue from position 14 to 13 in peptide YY decreases its affinity at the Y1-, Y4- and Y5-receptors but is unchanged at the Y2 subtype. Combining these results, and with the help of molecular modelling, second generation chimeras were designed. The most significant improvement was achieved in chimera 2-36[K4,RYYSA(19-23)]PP where the affinity for the Y5 subtype increased by ninefold over that from NPY. Several of these compounds were also tested for their ability to stimulate food intake in a rat model. Interestingly, again 2-36[K4,RYYSA(19-23)]PP showed the most dramatic effect with a major increase on food intake over a range of doses compared to NPY suggesting a possible synergistic effect of several Y-receptors on feeding behaviour.

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