Nancy McKeown Sherwood

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The pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/ glucagon superfamily includes nine hormones in humans that are related by structure, distribution (especially the brain and gut), function (often by activation of cAMP), and receptors (a subset of seven-transmembrane receptors). The nine hormones include glucagon, glucagon-like peptide-1(More)
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) plays a central role in vertebrate reproduction. The evolutionary origin of this neuropeptide and its receptor is not obvious, but the advent of genomics makes it possible to examine the roots of GnRH and delve deeper into its ancestral relationships. New peptide sequences identified in invertebrates from annelids to(More)
Cephalochordates, urochordates, and vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor over 520 million years ago. To improve our understanding of chordate evolution and the origin of vertebrates, we intensively searched for particular genes, gene families, and conserved noncoding elements in the sequenced genome of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae,(More)
Most vertebrate species have more than one form of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in their brains, but it is not clear whether each form has a distinct function. We report that sea bream (Sparus aurata) brains have three forms of GnRH, one of which is described herein and is called sea bream GnRH (sbGnRH). The primary structures of two forms were(More)
To address the origin of the glucagon superfamily, we isolated and sequenced the complementary DNA and partial gene that encode pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) from a protochordate (tunicate), a sister group of the amphioxus and vertebrates, but one that evolved before the amphioxus. This is the first report of any superfamily(More)
The primate brain was thought to contain only the GnRH known as mammalian GnRH (mGnRH). This study investigates whether a second form of GnRH exists within the primate brain. We found that brain extracts from adult stumptail and rhesus monkeys contained two forms of GnRH that were similar to mGnRH and chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II) based on the elution position(More)
A cDNA that codes for two peptides in the glucagon superfamily has been isolated from sockeye salmon brain. The first peptide is related to growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), which has high sequence similarity with PACAP-related peptide. The second peptide is structurally related to vasoactive intestinal peptide, which is also related to a newly(More)
In mammals, GRF and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) are encoded in separate genes. We report here that in the salmon a 4.5-kilobase gene contains five exons that encode the biologically active part of the GRF-like peptide (amino acids 1-32) on exon 4 and PACAP on exon 5. Analysis of two fish messenger RNAs reveals that a long(More)
GnRH is the key regulator of the reproductive axis in vertebrates, but little is known about GnRH before the origin of vertebrates. We have identified two genes encoding GnRH in a protochordate, Ciona intestinalis, thought to be related to the ancestral animal that gave rise to vertebrates. Each gene, Ci-gnrh1 and Ci-gnrh2, encodes in tandem three GnRH(More)
A peptide that is recognized by certain antibodies raised against mammalian gonadotropin-releasing hormone has been purified from extracts of salmon brains by gel filtration and high-performance liquid chromatography. The primary structure of this 10-residue peptide is less than Glu-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Gly-Trp-Leu-Pro-Gly-NH2. This represents a difference of(More)