Mass spectral characterization of peptide transmitters/hormones in the nervous system and neuroendocrine organs of the American lobster Homarus americanus

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2008 Apr 1;156(2):395-409. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Jan 26.


The American lobster Homarus americanus is a decapod crustacean with both high economic and scientific importance. To facilitate physiological investigations of peptide transmitter/hormone function in this species, we have used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry (MALDI-FTMS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and nanoscale liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC-ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS) to elucidate the peptidome present in its nervous system and neuroendocrine organs. In total, 84 peptides were identified, including 27 previously known H. americanus peptides (e.g., VYRKPPFNGSIFamide [Val(1)-SIFamide]), 23 peptides characterized previously from other decapods, but new to the American lobster (e.g., pQTFQYSRGWTNamide [Arg(7)-corazonin]), and 34 new peptides de novo sequenced/detected for the first time in this study. Of particular note are a novel B-type allatostatin (TNWNKFQGSWamide) and several novel FMRFamide-related peptides, including an unsulfated analog of sulfakinin (GGGEYDDYGHLRFamide), two myosuppressins (QDLDHVFLRFamide and pQDLDHVFLRFamide), and a collection of short neuropeptide F isoforms (e.g., DTSTPALRLRFamide and FEPSLRLRFamide). Our data also include the first detection of multiple tachykinin-related peptides in a non-brachyuran decapod, as well as the identification of potential individual-specific variants of orcokinin and orcomyotropin-related peptide. Taken collectively, our results not only expand greatly the number of known H. americanus neuropeptides, but also provide a framework for future studies on the physiological roles played by these molecules in this commercially and scientifically important species.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Formaldehyde / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Nephropidae / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / analysis
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / analysis
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Peptide Hormones / analysis
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Tachykinins / biosynthesis
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Tachykinins
  • Formaldehyde