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Biochemistry. 1983 Sep 13;22(19):4567-73.

Opioid activities and structures of alpha-casein-derived exorphins.


Exorphins, peptides with opioid activity, have previously been isolated from pepsin hydrolysates of alpha-casein [Zioudrou, C., Streaty, R. A., & Klee, W. A. (1979) J. Biol. Chem. 254, 2446-2449]. Analysis of these peptides shows that they correspond to the sequences 90-96, Arg-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Glu, and 90-95, Arg-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Leu, of alpha-casein. These peptides, as well as two of their analogues Tyr-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Glu (91-96) and Tyr-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Leu (91-95), have now been synthesized and characterized. Their opioid activity was examined by three different bioassays: (a) displacement of D-2-alanyl[tyrosyl-3,5-3H]enkephalin-(5-L-methioninamide) and [3H]dihydromorphine from rat brain membranes; (b) naloxone-reversible inhibition of adenylate cyclase in homogenates of neuroblastoma x glioma hybrid cells; (c) naloxone-reversible inhibition of electrically stimulated contractions of the mouse vas deferens. The synthetic peptide of sequence 90-96 was the most potent opioid in all three bioassays and its potency was similar to that of the isolated alpha-casein exorphins. The synthetic peptides were totally resistant to hydrolysis by trypsin and homogenates of rat brain membranes, but were partially inactivated by chymotrypsin and subtilisin. The difference in opioid activity of alpha-casein exorphins may be related to differences in conformational flexibility observed by NMR spectroscopy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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