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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 May 15;160(3):1015-20.

Achatin-I, an endogenous neuroexcitatory tetrapeptide from Achatina fulica Férussac containing a D-amino acid residue.

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Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Osaka, Japan.


A tetrapeptide named achatin-I was purified from the suboesophageal and cerebral ganglia of the African giant snail Achatina fulica Férussac, and evoked a potent neuroexcitatory effect. The amino acid sequence of achatin-I is Gly-D-Phe-Ala-Asp. Achatin-I induced a voltage-dependent inward current, due to Na+, on the identifiable giant neuron, periodically oscillating neuron (PON), of the same snail. All possible isomers of achatin-I were synthesized using the solid-phase method. The sensitivity of the neuron to achatin-I and its isomers was strictly stereospecific; among the various isomers, only achatin-I showed marked effects (ED50 = 2.29 x 10(-6)M), while Gly-D-Phe-D-Ala-Asp, the synthetic D-Ala-isomer, was less than 10(-3) active.

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