Conformational flexibility and biological activity of salmon calcitonin Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • We have assessed the biological activity of salmon calcitonin I (sCT) using an in vivo biological assay of hypocalcemic activity in rats. The changes in biological activity observed are explained on the basis of changes in the conformational properties of the hormone analogues. Helical content in the presence and absence of lipids and detergents was assessed by using circular dichroism, and the section of the molecule that folds into a helix was predicted on the basis of the helix-coil transition theory of Mattice and co-workers. In the amino acid sequence of sCT, residue 8 is valine and residue 16 is leucine. The synthetic calcitonin derivatives [Gly8]sCT and [Ala16]sCT have higher biological activity than the native hormone although they have a lower helical content. The increased biological activity of these derivatives is ascribed to an increase in their conformational flexibility resulting from the substitution of amino acid residues with less bulky side chains and less tendency to form helical structures. The derivative [Met8]sCT has less substitution than sCT on the beta-carbon at position 8, but it has increased helix-forming potential in the region of residues 8-12. These two factors affect conformational flexibility in opposite ways, resulting in the biological activity of [Met8]sCT being slightly higher than that of sCT. However, increased conformational flexibility does not always increase biological activity. Substitution of the L-arginine at residue 24 for a D-arginine has little effect on the conformational properties or biological activity of sCT. However, [Gly8, D-Arg24]sCT is less active than sCT, [Gly8]sCT, or [D-Arg24]sCT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • Epand, Richard
  • Epand, Raquel F
  • Orlowski, Ronald C
  • Seyler, Jay K
  • Colescott, Robert L

publication date

  • April 1, 1986