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Nociceptin (NC) and some of its fragments as well as nociceptin-(1-13)-peptide amide [NC- (1-13)-NH2] and a series of its analogues were prepared and tested in the mouse vas deferens in an attempt to identify the sequences involved in the activation (message) and in the binding (address) of nociceptin to its receptor. The NC receptor that inhibits the(More)
BACKGROUND Tyr-Tic (1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid) and Tyr-Tic-Ala were the first peptides with delta opioid antagonist activity lacking Phe, considered essential for opioid activity based on the N-terminal tripeptide sequence (Tyr-D-Xaa-Phe) of amphibian skin opioids. Analogs were then designed to restrain the rotational flexibility of(More)
The major components of neuritic plaques found in Alzheimer disease (AD) are peptides known as amyloid beta-peptides (Abeta), which derive from the proteolitic cleavage of the amyloid precursor proteins. In vitro Abeta may undergo a conformational transition from a soluble form to aggregated, fibrillary beta-sheet structures, which seem to be neurotoxic.(More)
An increasing family of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, prion encephalopathies and cystic fibrosis is associated with aggregation of misfolded polypeptide chains which are toxic to the cell. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of the proteins implicated is essential for understanding why and(More)
Deficiency of the small mitochondrial protein frataxin causes Friedreich's ataxia, a severe neurodegenerative pathology. Frataxin, which has been highly conserved throughout evolution, is thought to be involved in, among other processes, Fe-S cluster formation. Independent evidence shows that it binds iron directly, although with very distinct features and(More)
Nociceptin is a heptadecapeptide whose sequence is similar to that of Dynorphin A, sharing a message domain characterized by two glycines and two aromatic residues, and a highly basic C-terminal address domain but, in spite of these similarities, displays no opioid activity. Establishing the relative importance of the message and address domains of(More)
Sweet tasting proteins interact with the same receptor that binds small molecular weight sweeteners, the T1R2-T1R3 G-protein coupled receptor, but the key groups on the protein surface responsible for the biological activity have not yet been identified. I propose that sweet proteins, contrary to small ligands, do not bind to the 'glutamate-like' pocket but(More)
Structural studies show that fish and mammalian metallothioneins are endowed of distinctive features. In particular, the ninth cysteine residue present in the alpha domain of fish metallothionein is shifted of two positions with respect to the mammalian metallothionein, introducing a conformational modification in the protein structure. In addition, the(More)
The message domain of dermorphin (Tyr-D-Ala-Phe), a natural mu-opioid heptapeptide, has long been considered the main cause of the high mu selectivity of this peptide and of its analogues. The recent discovery, in the skin of Phyllomedusa sauvagei (i.e., the same natural source of dermorphin) and of Phyllomedusa bicolor of deltorphins, challenges this(More)
Deltorphin I, a delta-selective opioid peptide, has been studied in a DMSOd6/H2O cryoprotective mixture by two-dimensional (2D) NMR spectroscopy in the temperature range 260 K to 305 K. The high viscosity of the solvent at low temperature mimics a distinctive physico-chemical feature of cytoplasm and allows the measurement of a NOESY spectrum rich in intra-(More)