General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:139 issue:2 pages:173-178
In a manual sequence alignment experiment we accidentally observed that the locust adipokinetic hormone (AKH)(1) precursor-related peptides (APRPs), which are peptides contained in the AKH-preprohormones, display sequence similarity with human growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF). So far, a counterpart for GRF, either structurally or functionally, has not yet been reported in any non-chordate. This could give new insights into the origin of the GRF superfamily, as it would mean that in some invertebrates (locusts), the structural homologues of glucagons (AKHs) and GRFs (APRPs) are located on the same precursor. No function could as yet be attributed to APRPs, although these neuropeptides occur abundantly in the corpora cardiaca, a neurohaemal organ from which many neuropeptides are released. Therefore, similar to GRF, a role as releasing factor may be envisaged for APRPs. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.