Journal of neuroimmunology

The rat dermorphin-like immunoreactivity is supported by an aminopeptidase resistant peptide.

PMID 9521624


Site-directed antibodies against synthetic related dermorphin peptides were previously produced and characterized. One of them, which specifically recognizes the crucial 'opioid message' (the N-terminal part of the dermorphin molecule (i.e. Tyr-D-Ala-Phe-Gly) was selected in order to detect and locate endogenous dermorphin-like molecules in rat, mouse and guinea pig tissues. Dermorphin-like peptides were found to be present in tissues known to contain peptides such as neurons in the central nervous system, nerve fibers in the gut and B and T immune cells. With all the tissues assayed, the HPLC profile obtained on the immunoreactive material showed the same main peak eluted at a retention time of 32 +/- 1 min. The results of biochemical experiments in which enzymatic treatments were performed on the dermorphin-like immunoreactivity indicate the immunoreactivity is a peptide resistant to aminopeptidase hydrolysis. This finding suggests the presence of a residue conferring resistance to proteolytic processes of this kind, which is likely to be a D-amino acid residue.