Neuropeptidomic analysis of the brain and thoracic ganglion from the Jonah crab, Cancer borealis

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 29;308(3):535-44. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(03)01426-8.


Mass spectrometric methods were applied to determine the peptidome of the brain and thoracic ganglion of the Jonah crab (Cancer borealis). Fractions obtained by high performance liquid chromatography were characterized using MALDI-TOF MS and ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS. In total, 28 peptides were identified within the molecular mass range 750-3000Da. Comparison of the molecular masses obtained with MALDI-TOF MS with the calculated molecular masses of known crustacean peptides revealed the presence of at least nine allatostatins, three orcokinin precursor derived peptides, namely FDAFTTGFGHS, [Ala(13)]-orcokinin, and [Val(13)]-orcokinin, and two kinins, a tachykinin-related peptide and four FMRFamide-related peptides. Eight other peptides were de novo sequenced by collision induced dissociation on the Q-TOF system and yielded AYNRSFLRFamide, PELDHVFLRFamide or EPLDHVFLRFamide, APQRNFLRFamide, LNPFLRFamide, DVRTPALRLRFamide, and LRNLRFamide, which belong to the FMRFamide related peptide family, as well as NFDEIDRSGFA and NFDEIDRSSFGFV, which display high sequence similarity to peptide sequences within the orcokinin precursor of Orconectes limosus. Our paper is the first (neuro)peptidomic analysis of the crustacean nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brachyura / chemistry*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • FMRFamide / chemistry
  • Ganglia / chemistry*
  • Neuropeptides / analysis*
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Thoracic Cavity / innervation


  • Neuropeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • allatostatin
  • orcokinin
  • FMRFamide