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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 10;109(28):11121-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1203561109. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

In vitro selection of a peptide antagonist of growth hormone secretagogue receptor using cDNA display.

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Department of Regulation Biology, Faculty of Science, Saitama University, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are major drug targets, and their ligands are currently being explored and developed by many pharmaceutical companies and independent researchers. Class A (rhodopsin-like) GPCRs compose a predominant GPCR family; therefore, class A GPCR ligands are in demand. Growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) is a class A GPCR that stimulates food intake by binding to its peptide ligand, ghrelin. Therefore, antagonists of GHS-R are expected to exert antiobesity function. In this article, we describe the use of cDNA display to screen for successfully and identify an antagonistic peptide of GHS-R. The antagonistic peptide inhibited the ghrelin-induced increase in intracellular Ca(2+) in vitro (IC(50) = approximately 10 μM) and repressed the contraction of isolated animal stomach in response to ghrelin. Furthermore, peripheral administration of the peptide inhibited the food intake of mice. This work provides new insight into the development of antiobesity drugs and describes a method for the discovery of unique peptide ligands for class A GPCRs.

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