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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1994 Dec;24(10):1001-7.

Silkworm diapause hormone, structure-activity relationships indispensable role of C-terminal amide.

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School of Agriculture, Nagoya University, Japan.


To determine the structure-activity relationships of the silkworm diapause hormone, a series of peptide analogs having different chain lengths starting from the parent C-terminus and analogs having identical sequences with free acid C-termini were chemically synthesized by solid-phase Fmoc methodology and were further purified by HPLC. Bioassay showed that the analogs with free acid C-termini were non active. The retained activities of those shorter chains were shown only with the amidated C-terminal analogs among which the potency depended on the length of the chain. The active peptides required two minimal elements; namely the sequence near and the amidation of the C-terminus. There was no difference in enzymatic digestion of the C-terminally amidated or free acid analogs in pupal haemolymph. Hence the absence of DH activity of the free acid analogs was not because of being selectively hydrolyzed faster than the C-terminally amidated peptides. This suggested that existence of a certain higher order structure could be involved in expressing hormonal activity, or that the negative charge of the free acid terminus may be deleterious to a proper ligand receptor interaction. Since most of the hydrophobic amino acids were located near the C-terminal portion, both the hydrophobicity of the portion near and the amidation of the C-terminus were indispensable structures for diapause hormone activity.

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