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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Jun;80(11):3531-5.

Isolation, characterization, and purification to homogeneity of an endogenous polypeptide with agonistic action on benzodiazepine receptors.


A brain polypeptide termed diazepam-binding inhibitor (DBI) and thought to be chemically and functionally related to the endogenous effector of the benzodiazepine recognition site was purified to homogeneity. This peptide gives a single band of protein on NaDodSO4 and acidic urea gel electrophoresis. A single UV-absorbing peak was obtained by HPLC using three different columns and solvent systems. DBI has a molecular mass of approximately equal to 11,000 daltons. Carboxyl-terminus analysis shows that tyrosine is the only residue while the amino-terminus was blocked. Cyanogen bromide treatment of DBI yields three polypeptide fragments, and the sequences of two of them have been determined for a total of 45 amino acids. DBI is a competitive inhibitor for the binding of [3H]diazepam, [3H]flunitrazepam, beta-[3H]carboline propyl esters, and 3H-labeled Ro 15-1788. The Ki for [3H]-diazepam and beta-[3H]carboline binding were 4 and 1 microM, respectively. Doses of DBI that inhibited [3H]diazepam binding by greater than 50% fail to change [3H]etorphine, gamma-amino[3H]butyric acid, [3H]-quinuclidinyl benzilate, [3H]dihydroalprenolol, [3H]adenosine, and [3H]imipramine binding tested at their respective Kd values. DBI injected intraventricularly at doses of 5-10 nmol completely reversed the anticonflict action of diazepam on unpunished drinking and, similar to the anxiety-inducing beta-carboline derivative FG 7142 (beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid methyl ester), facilitated the shock-induced suppression of drinking by lowering the threshold for this response.

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