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The prolactin releasing peptide (PrRP) is involved in regulating food intake and body weight homeostasis, but molecular details on the activation of the PrRP receptor remain unclear. C-terminal segments of PrRP with 20 (PrRP20) and 13 (PrRP8-20) amino acids, respectively, have been suggested to be fully active. The data presented herein indicate this is true for the wildtype receptor only; a 5-10-fold loss of activity was found for PrRP8-20 compared to PrRP20 at two extracellular loop mutants of the receptor. To gain insight into the secondary structure of PrRP, we used CD spectroscopy performed in TFE and SDS. Additionally, previously reported NMR data, combined with ROSETTANMR, were employed to determine the structure of amidated PrRP20. The structural ensemble agrees with the spectroscopic data for the full-length peptide, which exists in an equilibrium between α- and 3(10)-helix. We demonstrate that PrRP8-20's reduced propensity to form an α-helix correlates with its reduced biological activity on mutant receptors. Further, distinct amino acid replacements in PrRP significantly decrease affinity and activity but have no influence on the secondary structure of the peptide. We conclude that formation of a primarily α-helical C-terminal region of PrRP is critical for receptor activation.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The prolactin-releasing peptide receptor and its bioactive RF-amide peptide (PrRP20) have been investigated to explore the ligand binding mode of peptide G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). By receptor mutagenesis, we identified the conserved aspartate in the upper transmembrane helix 6 (Asp(6.59)) of the receptor as the first position that directly interacts with arginine 19 of the ligand (Arg(19)). Replacement of Asp(6.59) with Arg(19) of PrRP20 led to D6.59R, which turned out to be a constitutively active receptor mutant (CAM). This suggests that the mutated residue at the top of transmembrane helix 6 mimics Arg(19) by interacting with additional binding partners in the receptor. Next, we generated an initial comparative model of this CAM because no ligand docking was required, and we selected the next set of receptor mutants to find the engaged partners of the binding pocket. In an iterative process, we identified two acidic residues and two hydrophobic residues that form the peptide ligand binding pocket. As all residues are localized on top or in the upper part of the transmembrane domains, we clearly can show that the extracellular surface of the receptor is sufficient for full signal transduction for prolactin-releasing peptide, rather than a deep, membrane-embedded binding pocket. This contributes to the knowledge of the binding of peptide ligands to GPCRs and might facilitate the development of GPCR ligands, but it also provides new targeting of CAMs involved in hereditary diseases.
The rat orphan receptor UHR-1 and its human orthologue, GPR10, were first isolated in 1995. The ligand for this receptor, prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP), was identified in 1998 by reverse pharmacology and has subsequently been implicated in a number of physiological processes. As supported by its localization and regulation in the hypothalamus and brainstem, we have shown previously that PrRP is involved in energy homeostasis. Here we describe a naturally occurring polymorphism in the UHR-1 gene that results in an ATG to ATA change at the putative translational initiation site. The presence of the polymorphism abolished the binding of 125I PrRP in rat brain slices but did not affect the ability of PrRP to reduce fast-induced food intake. Together this data suggest that PrRP may be exerting its feeding effects through a receptor other than UHR-1.
Central administration of a single dose of prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) causes a reduction in both fast-induced and nocturnal food intake and body weight gain. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of repeated administration of PrRP on energy homeostasis, including a measure of the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) in brown adipose tissue. Conscious, free-feeding animals received central injections of PrRP (4 nmol icv) or vehicle. A single injection at 1000 caused a sustained hyperthermia over the 4-h test period and an increase in the expression of UCP-1 mRNA. Repeated, twice daily injection caused a reduction in body weight gain greater than that seen in pair-fed animals for the first 48-72 h. After 72 h, the animals became refractory to the actions of PrRP. The pair-fed group showed a reduction in UCP-1 mRNA expression at 48 h, which was reversed by PrRP treatment. This study indicates that PrRP exerts its effects on energy homeostasis in the short-medium term by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure.
PRL-releasing peptide (PrRP) is a novel anorexigen that reduces food intake and body weight gain in rats. In common with other anorexigens, PrRP mRNA expression is reduced during states of negative energy balance, i.e. lactation and fasting in female rats. In this study, we examined the interaction between PrRP and the adiposity signal, leptin, which interacts with a number of peptidergic systems in the brain to regulate energy homeostasis. Intracerebroventricular coadministration of 4 nmol PrRP and 1 microg leptin in rats resulted in additive reductions in nocturnal food intake and body weight gain and an increase in core body temperature compared with each peptide alone. We show also, by quantitative in situ hybridization, that PrRP mRNA is reduced in fasted male rats and obese Zucker rats, indicating that PrRP mRNA expression, like that of other anorexigens, may be regulated by leptin. Finally we show, using immunohistochemistry, that greater than 90% of PrRP neurons in all regions where PrRP is expressed contain leptin receptors. Thus, we provide evidence for PrRP neurons forming part of the leptin-sensitive brain circuitry involved in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis.
PRL-releasing peptide (PrRP) administered centrally inhibits food intake and body weight gain. To elucidate the role of PrRP, its actions were compared with those of a homeostatic regulator of food intake, the satiety factor, cholecystokinin (CCK), and a nonhomeostatic regulator, lithium chloride (LiCl), which reduces food intake due to visceral illness. Immunohistochemical analysis of the protein product of the c-fos gene, showed that central administration of PrRP activated some areas of the brain in common with both CCK and LiCl administered peripherally. However, PrRP was more similar to CCK than to LiCl in its behavioral effects. PrRP did not cause conditioned taste aversion, but instead enhanced the normal behavioral satiety sequence. Furthermore, brainstem PrRP neurons were strongly activated by CCK, but not by LiCl. These data provide evidence that pathways from the gut to the brain that are involved in signaling satiety and visceral illness may have some independent components and suggest that PrRP may mediate some of the central satiating actions of CCK.