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FEBS Lett. 2002 Jul 31;524(1-3):172-6.

D-Amino acid residue in the C-type natriuretic peptide from the venom of the mammal, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, the Australian platypus.

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School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The C-type natriuretic peptide from the platypus venom (OvCNP) exists in two forms, OvCNPa and OvCNPb, whose amino acid sequences are identical. Through the use of nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and peptidase digestion studies, we discovered that OvCNPb incorporates a D-amino acid at position 2 in the primary structure. Peptides containing a D-amino acid have been found in lower forms of organism, but this report is the first for a D-amino acid in a biologically active peptide from a mammal. The result implies the existence of a specific isomerase in the platypus that converts an L-amino acid residue in the protein to the D-configuration.

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