The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster contains a novel charged adipokinetic-hormone-family peptide

Biochem J. 1990 Jul 15;269(2):315-20. doi: 10.1042/bj2690315.


A member of the RPCH/AKH (red-pigment-concentrating hormone/adipokinetic hormone) family of arthropod neuropeptides was identified in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, and its structure was determined by automated Edman degradation and m.s. using fast-atom-bombardment ionization and a tandem hybrid instrument capable of high sensitivity. The sequence of this peptide, which we call 'DAKH', is pGlu-Leu-Thr-Phe-Ser-Pro-Asp-Trp-NH2 (where pGlu is pyroglutamic acid and Trp-NH2 is tryptophan carboxyamide). H.p.l.c. analyses of extracts of the three body segments revealed that more than 80% of the peptide is contained in the thorax. Although DAKH is typical of family members in its general structure and distribution in the animal, it is unique in containing a residue which is charged under physiological conditions. The evolutionary significance of this change is considered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drosophila melanogaster / analysis*
  • Grasshoppers
  • Insect Hormones* / isolation & purification*
  • Insect Hormones* / pharmacology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Oligopeptides* / isolation & purification*
  • Oligopeptides* / pharmacology
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / analogs & derivatives


  • Insect Hormones
  • Oligopeptides
  • adipokinetic hormone
  • DAKH peptide
  • red pigment-concentrating hormone
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid