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Conformational features of the neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (1–27) (PACAP(1–27)) and its shorter fragments (1–5), (7–11) and (14–27) were studied by circular dichroism (CD) and fluorescence spectroscopy. The obtained CD spectra revealed that only PACAP(1–27) and the fragment (14–27) possess some content of an organized structure – the α-helix. This C-terminal, helical part of the peptides is important for receptor binding as it provides a stable structure that can reside in the ordered lipid region of the receptor site in the membrane, while the primary biological function of the hormone resides in the N-terminal, disordered part. Fluorescence studies have revealed that the tyrosine residue located in the helical region of PACAP has a higher quantum yield and a longer average lifetime than the tyrosine in the N-terminus, probably due to a ‘shielding’ effect of the hydrophobic cluster around Tyr22.