A Cellular Polyprotein from Bovine Hypothalamus

Structural Elucidation of the Precursor to the Nonapeptide Hormone Arginine Vasopressin
  • Dietmar Richter
  • Hartwig Schmale
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)

Abstract

Although it has been recognized for a number of years that hormones may exert their effect on target tissues by acting on gene expression either directly, or indirectly, via a second messenger, relatively very little is known about the mechanisms involved. This situation has been made more complicated by the recent discoveries of the cellular polyproteins (Richter et al., 1980a), where a single primary translation product gives rise to several functionally distinct biological entities by a subsequent series of specific pmteolytic cleavages. The best-described example to date is opiocortin, which as a single polypeptide is a precursor to adrenocorticotropin, the endorphins, and the melanocyte-stimulating hormones. There it has been demonstrated that regulation of peptide hormone synthesis takes place not only at the transcriptional but also at the posttranslational level by differential processing and modification of the primary translation product (Herbert, 1981). Since the synthesis of peptide hormones is recognized as being itself under hormonal control, if only in the form of an end product negative-feedback inhibition, these polyproteins provide an important model system in which to examine regulation of gene expression (Numa and Nakanishi, 1981).

Keywords

Polypeptide Arginine Calcitonin Vasopressin Oxytocin 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietmar Richter
    • 1
  • Hartwig Schmale
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Abteilung ZellbiochemieUniversität HamburgHamburg 20G.F.R.

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