The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Characterization of a circulating N-extended form of the thyrotropin-releasing hormone-like peptide pGlu-Glu-Pro amide in human plasma.

PMID 14671203


The TRH-like peptides pGlu-Glu-Pro amide, pGlu-Phe-Pro amide, and pGlu-Gln-Pro amide were isolated and identified some years ago, and these peptides have been proven to be present in many tissues and fluids. The presence of TRH-like immunoreactivity distinct from TRH in blood has been observed previously. In the present study, the presence of N-extended forms of TRH-like peptides in plasma has been investigated. Peripheral blood samples of human, rat, and rabbit were obtained and plasma was extracted. The peptides were separated in several steps of chromatography, including gel filtration, cation and anion exchange, and HPLC. The concentrations of the TRH-like peptides in the column fractions were measured by RIA with TRH antibody. The N-extended forms of TRH-like peptides were determined by RIA after trypsin digestion. In human plasma it was observed an N-extended form of TRH-like peptides in substantial concentration. After trypsin and heating, the N-extended forms of TRH-like peptides were rechromatographed on Sephadex G-50. This showed that the TRH-like peptides released have a similar size to TRH. The peptides were then separated by cation exchange chromatography, and the major fraction was unretained, indicating a neutral or acidic nature. Part of the unretained fraction was then chromatographed on anion exchange column in which the major fraction was retained, demonstrating the acidic nature of the peptides. Similar results have been observed in rat and rabbit. The other part of the unretained fraction from cation exchange chromatography of human plasma was purified on HPLC. The results demonstrated that the major component observed by HPLC cochromatographed with synthetic pGlu-Glu-Pro amide. This study represents the first demonstration of a circulating N-extended form of any TRH-like peptide.