Localization and Colocalization of Gastrointestinal Peptides

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Abstract

The digestive tract is the richest source of biologically active peptides outside the brain. The number of identified gut peptides has increased dramatically over the last 2 decades. Methodological advances have made this rapid development possible. Many neurohormonal peptides have C-terminal α-amide groups and the development of a screening method for peptides with amidated C-terminal residues has enabled the isolation of several neurohormonal peptides, such as peptide histidine isoleucine amide (PHI), peptide YY (PYY), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and galanin, all of which are present in the gut (Tatemoto and Mutt 1978, 1980, 1981; Tatemoto et al. 1982, 1983). In addition, techniques of molecular biology have been used to identify the precursors of a great number of both known and previously unknown gut peptides (see e.g., Lund et al. 1982; Itoh et al. 1983; Rosenfeld et al. 1983). Many of the precursors of known peptides were found to contain, besides the known peptide, cryptic segments some of which seem to be of biological significance as messenger molecules.