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Pharmacological and biochemical aspects of the enkephalins

  • J. Hughes
  • H. W. Kosterlitz
  • A. T. McKnight
  • R. P. Sosa
  • J. A. H. Lord
  • A. A. Waterfield
Part of the Biological Council book series

Abstract

Kosterlitz and Hughes (1975) originally suggested that the enkephalins may be inhibitory neurotransmitters or neuromodulators. Recent work in this field and particularly in the immunofluorescent localisation of the enkephalins has supported this original concept. However, the concept of an endogenous ligand for the opiate receptor did not take into account the possibility of multiple ligands. When the structures of methionine- and leucine-enkephalin were reported it was pointed out (Hughes et al., 1975) that the sequence of met-enkephalin was included as residues 61–65 of β-lipotropin (β-LPH; Li and Chung, 1976a). Following this observation several different fragments of β-LPH were isolated from the pituitary gland and were shown to be potent agonists at opiate receptor sites (Feldberg and Smyth, 1976; Guillemin et al., 1976; Lazarus et al., 1976; Li and Chung, 1976b). This picture is further confused by the reports that other opioid peptides exist in the pituitary (Gentleman et al., 1976), brain (Ross et al., 1976; Smith et al., 1976) and cerebrospinal fluid (Terenius, chapter 11). These unidentified peptides are not identical with any known fragment of β-LPH and some at least may be derived from the putative precursor of leu-enkephalin.

Keywords

Opioid Peptide Myenteric Plexus Opiate Receptor Cyanogen Bromide Biochemical Aspect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Institute of Biology Endowment Trust Fund 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hughes
    • 1
  • H. W. Kosterlitz
    • 1
  • A. T. McKnight
    • 1
  • R. P. Sosa
    • 1
  • J. A. H. Lord
    • 1
  • A. A. Waterfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit for Research on Addictive DrugsUniversity of Aberdeen, Marischal CollegeAberdeenUK

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