The role of the amino-terminal domain of tachykinins in neurokinin-1 receptor signaling and desensitization.


Journal Article

Neurokinin A (NKA) has previously been shown to be a full agonist of the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) but is only able to cause partial homologous desensitization of the receptor compared to substance P (SP). NKA and SP share the same amino acid sequence at their C-terminal active site domains but differ in structure at their N-terminal domains. These observations have led to the proposal that the N-terminal domains of tachykinin peptides affect the desensitization but not the agonist activities of the peptides. Some of the preprotachykinin proteins contain SP and the NKA-like tachykinins neuropeptide K (NPK) and neuropeptide gamma (NPgamma), which contain NKA at their C-terminals and are N-terminally extended. In this study, the abilities of NKA, NPK, and NPgamma to stimulate NK-1R second messenger (IP(3)) signaling and rapid homologous desensitization of the NK-1R were examined. In addition, a similar analysis was performed using several nonmammalian tachykinin peptides in order to obtain additional insight into the role of the tachykinin N-terminal domain in these NK-1R functions. NPK and NPgamma were found, like NKA, to be full agonists of rat NK-1R IP(3) signaling but, unlike NKA, were also able to cause full rapid homologous desensitization of the receptor. The extended N-terminal domains of NPK and NPgamma thus increase the desensitization activities of these NKA-like peptides. Of the nonmammalian tachykinins tested, all were full agonists but kassinin and eledoisin had only partial homologous desensitization activity, suggesting that the N-terminal structures of these peptides also differentially affect agonist versus desensitization activities of the NK-1R.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vigna, SR

Published Date

  • February 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 30 - 35

PubMed ID

  • 12637033

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12637033

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0143-4179

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0143-4179(02)00147-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands