Naturally occurring analogs of Lymantria testis ecdysiotropin, a gonadotropin isolated from brains of Lymantria dispar pupae.
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Lymantria testis ecdysiotropin (LTE) was isolated from the most prominent peptide peak corresponding to an active fraction obtained by high pressure liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separation of a homogenate of 13,000 Lymantria dispar pupal brains. In this work we examined the other active fractions from this separation as well as a second HPLC separation of an additional 2,300 pupal brains. Bioassay of the ecdysteroidogenic effects of each peak on L. dispar testes allowed detection of 20 peptide peaks with testis ecdysiotropic activity in addition to LTE. Of these, ten peptides were purified and sequenced. All of them were comparable to LTE in molecular weight. The amino acid sequences of five of the peptides were similar enough to LTE to be considered to be members of an LTE family. However, the other five peptides had no significant homology with LTE or with each other. A BLAST database search indicated LTE family homology with portions of inhibitory peptides such as those inhibiting cytolysis. In contrast, non-LTE ecdysiotropic peptides, in which undetermined residues designated X were assumed to be cysteine, were strikingly homologous to portions of vertebrate and invertebrate zinc finger peptides and to vertebrate and invertebrate virus proteins.
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