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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 8;99(1):84-9. Epub 2001 Dec 26.

Identification of a potent antidiuretic factor acting on beetle Malpighian tubules.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0014, USA.


Beetles, like other insects, depend on diuretic and antidiuretic hormones to control water balance. We have isolated, using head extracts from the beetle Tenebrio molitor, a peptide that strongly inhibits fluid secretion by the Malpighian tubules of this insect. This antidiuretic factor (ADF) appears to elicit its effect via cGMP as a second messenger but does not stimulate NO production. It has primary structure: Val-Val-Asn-Thr-Pro-Gly-His-Ala-Val-Ser-Tyr-His-Val-Tyr-OH. The ADF inhibits tubule secretion with high potency: the EC(50) is around 10 fM. It bears no significant resemblance to other biologically active neuropeptides. To our knowledge this is the only endogenous insect ADF acting on Malpighian tubules to be sequenced, and the first coleopteran (beetle) antidiuretic factor fully characterized to date.

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