Peptides from the Corpora Cardiaca and CNS of Locusts
It is somewhat surprising to realise that our knowledge of the chemistry of insect neurohormones is still rudimentary, it is only for adipokinetic hormone (AKH) and proctolin that structures are known [1,2]. There are many reasons for this paucity of information and lack of progress [3,4]. However, it is important to try and assess why so little progress has been made with the chemistry of peptides from insects whilst in recent years substantial progress has been made in other invertebrate groups — especially molluscs, crustacea and coelenterates. Much is known of the involvement of peptidergic materials as putative hormones and regulators in the control of developmental, physiological, and metabolic processes in insects. However, more rapid progress in our understanding of the endocrinology of peptides will be possible only when more is known of their structural chemistry. Over the past few years vast improvements in the techniques of chromatography and amino acid analysis have been made, exemplified by HPLC and microsequencing methods. These methods have already had a major impact upon insect neurohormone research. However, the main obstacle which impedes progress in the characterization of insect peptides is the bioassay; until more routine and reliable methods are devised our knowledge of the structural chemistry of insect peptides will progress only slowly. This is an area in which we are concentrating our research efforts. Accurate estimation of circulatory titres, perfection of RIA methods and cataloguing of chromatographic indices is possible only when quantitative and routine chemical methods are established.
KeywordsMalpighian Tubule Thoracic Ganglion Stick Insect Diuretic Activity Diuretic Hormone
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