Neuropeptide RFRP-1 (81-92)
Neuropeptides are small signaling molecules produced and released by neurons engaged in many physiological functions. Indeed, neuropeptides act on neural substrates such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), tyrosine-kinase receptors, insuline-like peptides and also ion channels. Actions of neuropeptides result in slow-onset, long-lasting modulation of synaptic transmission.
Pro-FMRFamide-related neuropeptide VF
Pro-FMRFamide-related neuropeptide VF also called neuropeptide VF precursor are expressed in neurons in mediobasal hypothalamus. Neuropeptide VF precursor is a propeptide which is cleaved in three others peptide: Neuropeptide RFRP-1, RFRP-2 and RFRP-3.
Neuropeptide RFRP-1 (81-92)
Neuropeptide RFRP-1 play a role in the negative regulation of gonadotropin synthesis and secretion. Neuropeptide RFRP-1 is an agonist of the NPFF1 and NPFF2 receptors. In rats, neuropeptide RFRP-1 increases prolactin release. Neuropeptide RFRP-1 (81-92) MPHSFANLPLRF-NH2 is a part of neuropeptide RFRP-1 and is used to study NPFF receptors.
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1- Hinuma S. et al. Nat Cell Biol. 2(10):703-708 (2000)
Only a few RFamide peptides have been identified in mammals, although they have been abundantly found in invertebrates. Here we report the identification of a human gene that encodes at least three RFamide-related peptides, hRFRP-1-3. Cells transfected with a seven-transmembrane-domain receptor, OT7T022, specifically respond to synthetic hRFRP-1 and hRFRP-3 but not to hRFRP-2. RFRP and OT7T022 mRNAs are expressed in particular regions of the rat hypothalamus, and intracerebroventricular administration of hRFRP-1 increases prolactin secretion in rats. Our results indicate that a variety of RFamide-related peptides may exist and function in mammals.
2- Murakami M. et al. J Endrocrinol. 199(1):105-112 (2008)
Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH), a newly discovered hypothalamic RFamide peptide, inhibits reproductive activity by decreasing gonadotropin synthesis and release in birds. The gene of the mammalian RFamide-related peptides (RFRP) is orthologous to the GnIH gene. This Rfrp gene gives rise to the two biologically active peptides RFRP-1 (NPSF) and RFRP-3 (NPVF), and i.c.v. injections of RFRP-3 suppress LH secretion in several mammalian species. In this study, we show whether RFRP-3 affects LH secretion at the pituitary level and/or via the release of GnRH at the hypothalamus in mammals. To investigate the suppressive effects of RFRP-3 on the mean level of LH secretion and the frequency of pulsatile LH secretion in vivo, ovariectomized (OVX) mature rats were administered RFRP-3 using either i.c.v. or i.v. injections. Furthermore, the effect of RFRP-3 on LH secretion was also investigated using cultured female rat pituitary cells. With i.v. administrations, RFRP-3 significantly reduced plasma LH concentrations when compared with the physiological saline group. However, after i.c.v. RFRP-3 injections, neither the mean level of LH concentrations nor the frequency of the pulsatile LH secretion was affected. When using cultured pituitary cells, in the absence of GnRH, the suppressive effect of RFRP-3 on LH secretion was not clear, but when GnRH was present, RFRP-3 significantly suppressed LH secretion. These results suggest that RFRP-3 does not affect LH secretion via the release of GnRH, and that RFRP-3 directly acts upon the pituitary to suppress GnRH-stimulated LH secretion in female rats.
3- Ubuka. T et al. PLoS One. 4(23):e8400 (2009)
Identification of human GnIH homologs, RFRP-1 and RFRP-3, and the cognate receptor, GPR147 in the human hypothalamic pituitary axis
The existence of a hypothalamic gonadotropin-inhibiting system has been elusive. A neuropeptide named gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH, SIKPSAYLPLRF-NH(2)) which directly inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release from the pituitary was recently identified in quail hypothalamus. Here we identify GnIH homologs in the human hypothalamus and characterize their distribution and biological activity. GnIH homologs were isolated from the human hypothalamus by immunoaffinity purification, and then identified as MPHSFANLPLRF-NH(2) (human RFRP-1) and VPNLPQRF-NH(2) (human RFRP-3) by mass spectrometry. Immunocytochemistry revealed GnIH-immunoreactive neuronal cell bodies in the dorsomedial region of the hypothalamus with axonal projections to GnRH neurons in the preoptic area as well as to the median eminence. RT-PCR and subsequent DNA sequencing of the PCR products identified human GnIH receptor (GPR147) mRNA expression in the hypothalamus as well as in the pituitary. In situ hybridization further identified the expression of GPR147 mRNA in luteinizing hormone producing cells (gonadotropes). Human RFRP-3 has recently been shown to be a potent inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion in cultured sheep pituitary cells by inhibiting Ca(2+) mobilization. It also directly modulates GnRH neuron firing. The identification of two forms of GnIH (RFRP-1 and RFRP-3) in the human hypothalamus which targets human GnRH neurons and gonadotropes and potently inhibit gonadotropin in sheep models provides a new paradigm for the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in man and a novel means for manipulating reproductive functions.
4- DeLaney K. et al. J Exp Biol. 221(Pt 3):jeb151167 (2018)
Neuropeptides are one of the most diverse classes of signaling molecules and have attracted great interest over the years owing to their roles in regulation of a wide range of physiological processes. However, there are unique challenges associated with neuropeptide studies stemming from the highly variable molecular sizes of the peptides, low in vivo concentrations, high degree of structural diversity and large number of isoforms. As a result, much effort has been focused on developing new techniques for studying neuropeptides, as well as novel applications directed towards learning more about these endogenous peptides. The areas of importance for neuropeptide studies include structure, localization within tissues, interaction with their receptors, including ion channels, and physiological function. Here, we discuss these aspects and the associated techniques, focusing on technologies that have demonstrated potential in advancing the field in recent years. Most identification and structural information has been gained by mass spectrometry, either alone or with confirmations from other techniques, such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and other spectroscopic tools. While mass spectrometry and bioinformatic tools have proven to be the most powerful for large-scale analyses, they still rely heavily on complementary methods for confirmation. Localization within tissues, for example, can be probed by mass spectrometry imaging, immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassays. Functional information has been gained primarily from behavioral studies coupled with tissue-specific assays, electrophysiology, mass spectrometry and optogenetic tools. Concerning the receptors for neuropeptides, the discovery of ion channels that are directly gated by neuropeptides opens up the possibility of developing a new generation of tools for neuroscience, which could be used to monitor neuropeptide release or to specifically change the membrane potential of neurons. It is expected that future neuropeptide research will involve the integration of complementary bioanalytical technologies and functional assays.