Canine neurotensin (NT) and neuromedin N (NMN) were isolated from extracts of ileal mucosa using radioimmunoassay for detection. The structures determined were consistent with those predicted by earlier cDNA work. The molar ratio of NT to NMN was ca. 7, suggesting that the NT/NMN precursor, which contains one copy of each peptide, undergoes complex posttranslational processing or that other NT-precursors lacking NMN exist. In addition to NT, small quantities of NT6-13 and NT2-13 were obtained. Native and synthetic preparations of these peptides were indistinguishable in a radioreceptor assay employing rat brain membranes and 125I-labeled NT; NT6-13 was ca. 8-times more potent than NT and NMN was about one-sixth as potent as NT. NT6-13 was also ca. 10 times more potent than NT in inhibiting spontaneous contractile activity in longitudinally-oriented smooth muscle strips of porcine jejunum. Preparations of intestinal N-cells as well as N-cell vesicles also appeared to contain NT2-13 and NT6-13; however, it is not yet clear whether these peptides are utilized physiologically or simply represent metabolites of NT. These results suggest that further work on the processing of NT precursor and on biologic abilities of partial sequences of NT could be fruitful.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grant DK28565 from the National Institutes of Health. Koutarou Muraki was recipient of a Fogarty International Research Fellowship. No. FO5PWO4213, from the Public Health Service. The authors thank Dr. William Lane for expertise in peptide sequencing.
- Gastrointestinal receptor