Aaron Maule, Christopher Shaw, D W Halton, L. Thim, C.F. Johnston, Ian Fairweather, K.D. Buchanan

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Using a C-terminally directed pancreatic polypeptide (PP) antiserum and immunocytochemical methods, PP-immunoreactivity (IR) was localized throughout the central (CNS) and peripheral nervous systems (PNS) of the cestode, Moniezia expansa. In the CNS, immunostaining was evident in the paired cerebral ganglia (primitive brain), connecting commissure, and the paired longitudinal nerve cords that are cross-linked by numerous regular transverse connectives. The PNS was seen to consist of a fine anastomosing nerve-net of immunoreactive fibres, many of which were closely associated with reproductive structures. Radioimmunoassay of this peptide IR in acid-alcohol extracts of the worm measured 192.8 ng/g of PP-IR. HPLC analyses of the M. expansa PP-IR identified a single molecular form which was purified to homogeneity. Plasma desorption mass spectrometry (PDMS) of purified parasite peptide resolved a single peptide with a molecular mass of 4599 +/- 10 Da. Automated gas-phase Edman degradation identified a 39-amino acid peptide with a C-terminal phenylalaninamide. Examination of its primary structure shows that it displays significant sequence homology with the vertebrate neuropeptide Y superfamily, suggesting that this platyhelminth-derived peptide is the phylogenetic precursor. Neuropeptide F (M. expansa) is the first regulatory peptide to be fully sequenced from the phylum Platyhelminthes and may represent a member of an important new class of invertebrate neuropeptide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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