Molecular cloning and characterization of an invertebrate homologue of a neuropeptide Y receptor

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Neuropeptide Y is an abundant and physiologically important peptide in vertebrates having effects on food intake, sexual behaviour, blood pressure and circadian rhythms. Neuropeptide Y homologues have been found in invertebrates, where they are very likely to play similar, important roles. Although five neuropeptide Y-receptor subtypes have been identified in mammals, none has been reported from invertebrates. Here we describe the cloning of a neuropeptide Y-receptor from the brain of the snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The identity of the receptor was deduced by expressing the neuropeptide Y-receptor-encoding cDNA in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, which were subsequently challenged with size-fractionated Lymnaea brain extracts. An active peptide, selected on the basis of its ability to induce changes in cAMP levels, was purified to homogeneity, analysed by mass spectrometry and amino acid sequence determination, and turned out to be a Lymnaea homologue of neuropeptide Y.

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