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J Med Chem. 2000 May 4;43(9):1741-53.

Solution structures in SDS micelles and functional activity at the bullfrog substance P receptor of ranatachykinin peptides.

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Department of Pharmacology, Marshall University School of Medicine and Huntington VA Medical Center, 1542 Spring Valley Drive, Huntington, West Virginia 25704, USA.


A set of novel tachykinin-like peptides has been isolated from bullfrog brain and gut. These compounds, ranatachykinin A (RTKA), ranatachykinin B (RTKB), and ranatachykinin C (RTKC), were named for their source, Rana catesbeiana, and their homology to the tachykinin peptide family. We present the first report of the micelle-bound structures and pharmacological actions of the RTKs. Generation of three-dimensional structures of the RTKs in a membrane-model environment using (1)H NMR chemical shift assignments, two-dimensional NMR techniques, and molecular dynamics and simulated annealing procedures allowed for the determination of possible prebinding ligand conformations. RTKA, RTKB, and RTKC were determined to be helical from the midregion to the C-terminus (residues 4-10), with a large degree of flexibility in the N-terminus and minor dynamic fraying at the end of the C-terminus. The pharmacological effects of the RTKs were studied by measuring the elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) in Chinese hamster ovarian cells stably transfected with the bullfrog substance P receptor (bfSPR). All of the RTKs tested elicited Ca(2+) elevations with a rank order of maximal effect of RTKA >/= SP > RTKC >/= RTKB. A high concentration (1 microM) of the neuropeptides produced varying degrees of desensitization to a subsequent challenge with the same or different peptide, while a low concentration (1 pM) produced sensitization at the bfSPR. Our data suggest differences in amino acid side chains and their charged states at the C-terminal sequence or differences in secondary structure at the N-terminus, which do not overlap according to the findings in this paper, may explain the differing degree and type of receptor activation seen at the bfSPR.

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