Evidence for a C-terminal structural motif in gastrin and its bioactive fragments in membrane mimetic media

Peptides. 2007 Aug;28(8):1561-71. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2007.07.009. Epub 2007 Jul 17.


The conformational preferences of human little gastrin, [Nle(15)] gastrin-17, and its short analogues, gastrin-4 and [beta-Ala(1)] gastrin-5, which include the C-terminal tetrapeptide sequence Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH(2) crucial for gastrin bioactivity, were determined by NMR spectroscopy in aqueous solutions of zwitterionic dodecylphosphocholine micelles. Backbone HN chemical shift temperature variance, Halpha chemical shift deviations and complex non-sequential NOE patterns pointed to the C-terminal of [Nle(15)] gastrin-17 adopting an ordered conformation. Distance geometry calculations and NOE-restrained molecular dynamics simulations in membrane mimetic solvent boxes of decane and water indicated the C-terminal tetrapeptide sequence of all three peptides adopted a similar, well defined structure, with a general type IV beta-turn observed for all three peptides. The conformation of [Nle(15)] gastrin-17 consisted of two short helices between Leu(5)-Glu(9) and Ala(11)-Trp(14), with the one helix terminating in a type I beta-turn spanning Gly(13)-Asp(16). The experimental evidence and conformational characteristics of the three peptides in micellar media support a membrane-associated mechanism of receptor recognition and activation for the gastrin hormone family and furthermore point to a possible biologically relevant structural motif for gastrin activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry
  • Gastrins / chemistry*
  • Gastrins / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Protein Conformation
  • Solvents
  • Thermodynamics


  • Gastrins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Solvents
  • gastrin heptadecapeptide, Nle(15)-