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  • Ghrelin derived peptides

Prepro-ghrelin derived peptides

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Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid hormonal peptide that is intimately related to the regulation of food intake and body weight. Once secreted, ghrelin binds to the growth hormone secretagogue receptor-1a, the only known receptor for ghrelin and is capable of activating a number of signaling cascades, ultimately resulting in an increase in food intake and adiposity. Because ghrelin has been linked to overeating and the development of obesity, a number of pharmacological interventions have been generated in order to interfere with either the activation of ghrelin or interrupting ghrelin signaling as a means to reducing appetite and decrease weight gain. Here, we present a novel peptide, CF801, capable of reducing circulating acylated ghrelin levels and subsequent body weight gain and adiposity. To this end, we show that IP administration of CF801 is sufficient to reduce circulating plasma acylated ghrelin levels. Acutely, intraperitoneal injections of CF801 resulted in decreased rebound feeding after an overnight fast. When delivered chronically, they decreased weight gain and adiposity without affecting caloric intake. CF801, however, did cause a change in diet preference, decreasing preference for a high-fat diet and increasing preference for regular chow diet. Given the complexity of ghrelin receptor function, we propose that CF801, along with other compounds that regulate ghrelin secretion, may prove to be a beneficial tool in the study of the ghrelin system, and potential targets for ghrelin-based obesity treatments without altering the function of ghrelin receptors.

Wellman MK, Patterson ZR, Mackay H, et al. Novel Regulator of Acylated Ghrelin, CF801, Reduces Weight Gain, Rebound Feeding after a Fast, and Adiposity in Mice. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2015;6:144.

Ghrelin system comprises a complex family of peptides, receptors (GHSRs), and modifying enzymes [e.g. ghrelin-O-acyl-transferase (GOAT)] that control multiple pathophysiological processes. Aberrant alternative splicing is an emerging cancer hallmark that generates altered proteins with tumorigenic capacity. Indeed, In1-ghrelin and truncated-GHSR1b splicing variants can promote development/progression of certain endocrine-related cancers. Here, we determined the expression levels of key ghrelin system components in neuroendocrine tumor (NETs) and explored their potential functional role. Twenty-six patients with NETs were prospectively/retrospectively studied [72 samples from primary and metastatic tissues (30 normal/42 tumors)] and clinical data were obtained. The role of In1-ghrelin in aggressiveness was studied in vitro using NET cell lines (BON-1/QGP-1). In1-ghrelin, GOAT and GHSR1a/1b expression levels were elevated in tumoral compared to normal/adjacent tissues. Moreover, In1-ghrelin, GOAT, and GHSR1b expression levels were positively correlated within tumoral, but not within normal/adjacent samples, and were higher in patients with progressive vs. with stable/cured disease. Finally, In1-ghrelin increased aggressiveness (e.g. proliferation/migration) of NET cells. Altogether, our data strongly suggests a potential implication of ghrelin system in the pathogenesis and/or clinical outcome of NETs, and warrant further studies on their possible value for the future development of molecular biomarkers with diagnostic/prognostic/therapeutic value.

Luque RM, Sampedro-nuñez M, Gahete MD, et al. In1-ghrelin, a splice variant of ghrelin gene, is associated with the evolution and aggressiveness of human neuroendocrine tumors: Evidence from clinical, cellular and molecular parameters. Oncotarget. 2015;6(23):19619-33.

Psychiatric disorders are often associated with metabolic and hormonal alterations, including obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome as well as modifications in several biological rhythms including appetite, stress, sleep-wake cycles, and secretion of their corresponding endocrine regulators. Among the gastrointestinal hormones that regulate appetite and adapt the metabolism in response to nutritional, hedonic, and emotional dysfunctions, at the interface between endocrine, metabolic, and psychiatric disorders, ghrelin plays a unique role as the only one increasing appetite. The secretion of ghrelin is altered in several psychiatric disorders (anorexia, schizophrenia) as well as in metabolic disorders (obesity) and in animal models in response to emotional triggers (psychological stress?…) but the relationship between these modifications and the physiopathology of psychiatric disorders remains unclear. Recently, a large literature showed that this key metabolic/endocrine regulator is involved in stress and reward-oriented behaviors and regulates anxiety and mood. In addition, preproghrelin is a complex prohormone but the roles of the other ghrelin-derived peptides, thought to act as functional ghrelin antagonists, are largely unknown. Altered ghrelin secretion and/or signaling in psychiatric diseases are thought to participate in altered appetite, hedonic response and reward. Whether this can contribute to the mechanism responsible for the development of the disease or can help to minimize some symptoms associated with these psychiatric disorders is discussed in the present review. We will thus describe (1) the biological actions of ghrelin and ghrelin-derived peptides on food and drugs reward, anxiety and depression, and the physiological consequences of ghrelin invalidation on these parameters, (2) how ghrelin and ghrelin-derived peptides are regulated in animal models of psychiatric diseases and in human psychiatric disorders in relation with the GH axis.

Labarthe A, Fiquet O, Hassouna R, et al. Ghrelin-Derived Peptides: A Link between Appetite/Reward, GH Axis, and Psychiatric Disorders?. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2014;5:163.

The ghrelin acylating enzyme ghrelin-O-acyltransferase (GOAT) was recently identified and implicated in several biological functions. However, the effects on food intake warrant further investigation. While several genetic GOAT mouse models showed normal food intake, acute blockade using a GOAT inhibitor resulted in reduced food intake. The underlying food intake microstructure remains to be established. In the present study we used an automated feeding monitoring system to assess food intake and the food intake microstructure. First, we validated the basal food intake and feeding behavior in rats using the automated monitoring system. Afterwards, we assessed the food intake microstructure following intraperitoneal injection of the GOAT inhibitor, GO-CoA-Tat (32, 96 and 288 ?g/kg) in freely fed male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats showed a rapid habituation to the automated food intake monitoring system and food intake levels were similar compared to manual monitoring (P = 0.43). Rats housed under these conditions showed a physiological behavioral satiety sequence. Injection of the GOAT inhibitor resulted in a dose-dependent reduction of food intake with a maximum effect observed after 96 mg/kg (-27%, P = 0.03) compared to vehicle. This effect was delayed in onset as the first meal was not altered and lasted for a period of 2 h. Analysis of the food intake microstructure showed that the anorexigenic effect was due to a reduction of meal frequency (-15%, P = 0.04), whereas meal size (P = 0.29) was not altered compared to vehicle. In summary, pharmacological blockade of GOAT reduces dark phase food intake by an increase of satiety while satiation is not affected.

Teuffel P, Wang L, Prinz P, et al. Treatment with the ghrelin-O-acyltransferase (GOAT) inhibitor GO-CoA-Tat reduces food intake by reducing meal frequency in rats. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015;66(4):493-503.

Obestatin is a 23-amino acid peptide encoded by the ghrelin gene, which regulates food intake, body weight and insulin sensitivity. Obestatininfluences glucose and lipid metabolism in mature adipocytes in rodents. However, the role of this peptide in rat preadipocytes remains to be fully understood. The current study characterized the effects of obestatin on lipid accumulation, preadipocyte differentiation, lipolysis and leptin secretion in rat primary preadipocytes. Obestatin enhanced lipid accumulation in rat preadipocytes and increased the expression of surrogate markers of preadipocyte differentiation. At the early stage of differentiation, obestatin suppressed lipolysis. By contrast, lipolysis was stimulated at the late stage of adipogenesis. Furthermore, obestatin stimulated the release of leptin, a key satiety hormone. Overall, the results indicated that obestatinpromotes preadipocyte differentiation. Obestatin increased leptin release in preadipocytes, while the modulation of lipolysis appears to depend upon the stage of differentiation.

Wojciechowicz T, Skrzypski M, Ko?odziejski PA, et al. Obestatin stimulates differentiation and regulates lipolysis and leptin secretion in rat preadipocytes. Mol Med Rep. 2015;12(6):8169-75.

OBJECTIVE: Excess nutrient supply and rapid weight gain during early life are risk factors for the development of obesity during adulthood. This metabolic malprogramming may be mediated by endocrine disturbances during critical periods of development. Ghrelin is a metabolic hormonesecreted from the stomach that acts centrally to promote feeding behavior by binding to growth hormone secretagogue receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Here, we examined whether neonatal overnutrition causes changes in the ghrelin system.
METHODS: We used a well-described mouse model of divergent litter sizes to study the effects of postnatal overfeeding on the central and peripheral ghrelin systems during postnatal development.
RESULTS: Mice raised in small litters became overweight during lactation and remained overweight with increased adiposity as adults. Neonatally overnourished mice showed attenuated levels of total and acyl ghrelin in serum and decreased levels of Ghrelin mRNA expression in the stomach during the third week of postnatal life. Normalization of hypoghrelinemia in overnourished pups was relatively ineffective at ameliorating metabolic outcomes, suggesting that small litter pups may present ghrelin resistance. Consistent with this idea, neonatally overnourished pups displayed an impaired central response to peripheral ghrelin. The mechanisms underlying this ghrelin resistance appear to include diminished ghrelin transport into the hypothalamus.
CONCLUSIONS: Early postnatal overnutrition results in central resistance to peripheral ghrelin during important periods of hypothalamic development. Because ghrelin signaling has recently been implicated in the neonatal programming of metabolism, these alterations in the ghrelinsystem may contribute to the metabolic defects observed in postnatally overnourished mice. KEYWORDS: ARH, arcuate nucleus; AgRP, agouti-related peptide; DMH, dorsomedial nucleus; GHSR, growth hormone secretagogue receptor; GOAT, ghrelinO-acyltransferase; Ghrelin; HFHS, high-fat/high-sucrose diet; Hormone; Hypothalamus; LHA, lateral hypothalamic area; MBH, mediobasal hypothalamus; ME, median eminence; NL, normal litters; NPY, neuropeptide Y; Nutrition; P, postnatal day; POMC, pro-opiomelanocortin; PVH, paraventricular nucleus; Programming; SL, small litter; Tanycytes

Collden G, Balland E, Parkash J, et al. Neonatal overnutrition causes early alterations in the central response to peripheral ghrelin. Mol Metab. 2015;4(1):15-24.

It has been reported that obestatin regulates adipocyte metabolism via receptors on the cell surface. We wondered whether obestatin can interact with intracellular components that activated signalling pathways in adipocytes. Because obestatin (human) only presents one lysine (at position 10), which cannot penetrate the cell membrane, therefore, we used a cell-permeable peptide TAT (49-57) as a vector to carry obestatin across the cell membrane. The goal of this study was to further understand the function of obestatin after penetrating the cell membrane. Our results showed that TAT-obestatin could cross the 3T3-L1 cell membrane in the absence of cytotoxicity. TAT-obestatin showed no effect on the proliferation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. In contrast, obestatin significantly stimulated proliferation at a dose of 10(-11) ?M and 10(-13) ?M. In addition, TAT-obestatin demonstrated a more potent inhibitory effect on cell apoptosis induced by serum starvation than that of obestatin. During the progress of adipocyte differentiation, TAT-obestatin and obestatin had no effect on adipogenesis. In the lipolysis assay, TAT-obestatin significantly increased glycerol and free fatty acid release from 3T3-L1 adipocytes after 3?h treatment but showed no significant effect on lipolysis after 24?h and 48?h of treatment. In contrast, obestatin (10(-7) ?M) had no effect on glycerol release after 3, 24 and 48?h of treatment. The difference between the effect of TAT-obestatinand obestatin on adipocytes metabolism indicated that TAT-obestatin may trigger intracellular signalling as well as signalling at the cell membrane.

Ren G, He Z, Cong P, et al. Effect of TAT-obestatin on proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and lipolysis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. J Pept Sci. 2013;19(11):684-91.

Obestatin is a peptide produced in the oxyntic mucosa of the stomach and co-localizes with ghrelin on the periphery of pancreatic islets. Several studies demonstrate that obestatin reduces food and water intake, decreases body weight gain, inhibits gastrointestinal motility, and modulates glucose-induced insulin secretion. In this study we evaluated the acute metabolic effects of human obestatin {1-23} and fragment peptides {1-10} or {11-23} in high-fat fed mice, and then investigated their solution structure by NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling. Obestatins {1-23} and {11-23} significantly reduced food intake (86% and 90% respectively) and lowered glucose responses to feeding, whilst leaving insulin responses unchanged. No metabolic changes could be detected following the administration of obestatin {1-10}. In aqueous solution none of the obestatin peptides possessed secondary structural features. However, in a 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE-d(3))-H(2)O solvent mixture, the structure of obestatin {1-23} was characterized by an alpha-helix followed by a single turn helix conformation between residues Pro(4) and Gln(15) and His(19) and Ala(22) respectively. Obestatin {1-10} showed no structural components whereas {11-23} contained an alpha-helix between residues Val(14) and Ser(20) in a mixed solvent. These studies are the first to elucidate the structure of human obestatin and provide clear evidence that the observed alpha-helical structures are critical for in vivo activity. Future structure/function studies may facilitate the design of novel therapeutic agents based on the obestatin peptide structure.

Subasinghage AP, Green BD, Flatt PR, Irwin N, Hewage CM. Metabolic and structural properties of human obestatin {1-23} and two fragment peptides. Peptides. 2010;31(9):1697-705.

Updates coming soon.