AGH is a new hemoglobin alpha-chain fragment with antinociceptive activity.
Ribeiro NM, Toniolo EF, Castro LM, Russo LC, Rioli V, Ferro ES, Dale CS.
Peptides. 2013, 48C, 10-20. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Aug 2.
Limited proteolysis of certain proteins leads to the release of endogenous bioactive peptides. Hemoglobin-derived peptides such as hemorphins and hemopressins are examples of intracellular protein-derived peptides that have antinociceptive effects by modulating G-protein coupled receptors activities. In the present study, a previously characterized substrate capture assay that uses a catalytically inactive form of the thimet oligopeptidase was combined with isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry in order to identify new bioactive peptides. Indeed, we have identified the peptide AGHLDDLPGALSAL (AGH), a fragment of the hemoglobin alpha-chain, which specifically bind to the inactive thimet oligopeptidase in the substrate capture assay. Previous peptidomics studies have identified the AGH as well as many other natural peptides derived from hemoglobin alpha-chain containing this sequence, further suggesting that AGH is a natural endogenous peptide. Pharmacological assays suggest that AGH inhibits peripheral inflammatory hyperalgesic responses through indirect activation of mu opioid receptors, without having a central nervous system activity. Therefore, we have successfully used the substrate capture assay to identify a new endogenous bioactive peptide derived from hemoglobin alpha-chain.
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