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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Proctolin degradation by membrane peptidases from nervous tissues of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria).

The hydrolysis of the insect neuropeptide proctolin (Arg-Tyr-Leu-Pro-Thr) by enzyme preparations from the nervous tissue of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) was investigated. Neural homogenate degraded proctolin (100 microM) at neutral pH by cleavage of the Arg-Tyr and Tyr-Leu bonds to yield Tyr-Leu-Pro-Thr, Arg-Tyr and free tyrosine. Arg-Tyr was detected as a major metabolite when the aminopeptidase inhibitors amastatin and bestatin were present to prevent Arg-Tyr breakdown. Around 50% of the proctolin-degrading activity was isolated in a 30,000 g membrane fraction and was shown to be almost entirely due to aminopeptidase activity. The aminopeptidase had an apparent Km of 23 microM, a pH optimum of 7.0 and was inhibited by 1 mM-EDTA and amastatin [IC50 = 0.3 microM], but was relatively insensitive to bestatin, actinonin and puromycin. Phenylmethanesulphonyl fluoride (1 mM) and p-chloromercuriphenylsulphonic acid (1 mM) had no effect on this enzyme activity. Although the bulk of the Tyr-Leu hydrolytic activity was located in the 30,000 g supernatant, some weak activity was detected in a washed membrane preparation. This peptidase displayed a high affinity for proctolin (Km = 0.35 microM) and optimal activity at around pH 7. 0. Synaptosome- and mitochondria-rich fractions were prepared from crude neural membranes. The aminopeptidase activity was concentrated in the synaptic-membrane preparation, whereas activity giving rise to Arg-Tyr was predominantly localized in the mitochondrial fraction. The subcellular localization of the membrane aminopeptidase is consistent with a possible physiological role for this enzyme in the inactivation of synaptically released proctolin.[1]


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