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Morishita F.,Hiroshima University | Furukawa Y.,Hiroshima University | Kodani Y.,Hiroshima University | Kodani Y.,Aichi University | And 3 more authors.
Peptides | Year: 2015

TEP (Thais excitatory peptide)-1 and TEP-2 are molluscan counterparts of annelidan GGNG-peptides, identified in a neogastropod, Thais clavigera (Morishita et al., 2006). We have cloned two cDNAs encoding TEP-1 and TEP-2 precursor protein, respectively, by the standard molecular cloning techniques. Predicted TEP-1 precursor protein consists of 161 amino acids, while predicted TEP-2 precursor protein has 118 amino acids. Only a single copy of TEP was found on the respective precursor. The semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that expression of TEP-1 was high in sub-esophageal, pleural, pedal and visceral ganglia, while it was low in supra-esophageal ganglion. By contrast, expression level of TEP-2 was high in pedal and visceral ganglia. In situ hybridization visualized different subsets of TEP-1 and TEP-2 expressing neurons in Thais ganglia. For example, supra-esophageal ganglion contained many TEP-2 expressing neuron, but not TEP-1 expressing ones. These results suggest that expression of TEP-1 and TEP-2 is differently regulated in the Thais ganglia. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Minakata H.,Suntory Foundation for Life science | Tsutsui K.,Waseda University
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2015

In protostome and deuterosome invertebrates, neurosecretory cells play major roles in the endocrine system. The optic glands of cephalopods are indicators of sexual maturation. In mature octopuses, optic glands enlarge and secrete a gonadotropic hormone. A peptide with structural features similar to that of vertebrate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was isolated from the octopus, Octopus vulgaris, and was named oct-GnRH. The discovery of oct-GnRH has triggered structural determinations and predictions of other mollusc GnRH-like peptides in biochemical and in silico studies. Interestingly, cephalopods studied so far are characterized by a single molecular form of oct-GnRH with a C-terminal -Pro-Gly-NH2 sequence, which is critical for gonadotropin-releasing activity in vertebrates. Other molluscan GnRH-like peptides lack the C-terminal -Pro-Gly-NH2 sequence but have -X-NH2 or -Pro-Gly although all protostome GnRH-like peptides have yet to be sequenced.In marine molluscs, relationships between GnRH-like peptides and sex steroids have been studied to verify the hypothesis that molluscs have vertebrate-type sex steroid system. However, it is currently questionable whether such sex steroids are present and whether they play endogenous roles in the reproductive system of molluscs. Because molluscs uptake and store steroids from the environment and fishes release sex steroids into the external environment, it is impossible to rule out the contamination of vertebrate sex steroids in molluscs. The function of key enzymes of steroidogenesis within molluscs remains unclear. Thus, evidence to deny the existence of the vertebrate-type sex steroid system in molluscs has been accumulated. The elucidation of substances, which regulate the maturation and maintenance of gonads and other reproductive functions in molluscs will require rigorous and progressive scientific study. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Amano M.,Kitasato University | Amiya N.,Kitasato University | Yokoyama T.,Kitasato University | Takakusaki Y.,Kitasato University | Minakata H.,Suntory Foundation for Life science
Fisheries Science | Year: 2011

We have developed a time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay (TR-FIA) for octopus gonadotropin-releasing hormone (oct-GnRH) to determine the profiles of oct-GnRH peptide levels in cephalopods. The sensitivity and the intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 4.9 pg/well and 6.8 (n = 10) and 2.7% (n = 5), respectively. Anti-oct-GnRH antibody was tested on all known forms of GnRH and found to cross-react with lamprey GnRH-II (27.1%), annelid GnRH (3.36%), tunicate GnRH-I (0.92%), dogfish GnRH (0.51%), and scallop Patinopecten yessoensis GnRH (0.05%). The displacement curve obtained for serially diluted brain extracts of three cephalopods, the spear squid Loligo bleekeri, swordtip squid Loligo edulis, and North Pacific giant octopus Octopus dofleini, paralleled the oct-GnRH standard curve. The presence of oct-GnRH in the central nervous system (CNS) of these cephalopods was further examined by a combination of reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography and oct-GnRH TR-FIA. CNS extracts from these cephalopods showed peaks with retention times similar to that of synthetic oct-GnRH. These results indicate that this novel oct-GnRH TR-FIA is widely applicable for oct-GnRH measurement in cephalopods. © 2011 The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science. Source

Raj H.,University of Groningen | Szymanski W.,University of Groningen | De Villiers J.,University of Groningen | Puthan Veetil V.,University of Groningen | And 5 more authors.
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2013

Enzymatic amino acid synthesis: Kinetic resolution and asymmetric synthesis of various valuable 3-substituted aspartic acids, which were obtained in fair to good yields with diastereomeric ratio values of up to >98:2 and enantiomeric excess values of up to >99 %, by using engineered methylaspartate ammonia lyases (see figure) are described. These biocatalytic methodologies for the selective preparation of aspartic acid derivatives appear to be attractive alternatives for existing chemical methods. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

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