Production of a novel neuropeptide encoded by the calcitonin gene via tissue-specific RNA processing

Nature. 1983 Jul 14-20;304(5922):129-35. doi: 10.1038/304129a0.


Alternative processing of the RNA transcribed from the calcitonin gene appears to result in the production of a messenger RNA in neural tissue distinct from that in thyroidal 'C' cells. The thyroid mRNA encodes a precursor to the hormone calcitonin whereas that in neural tissues generates a novel neuropeptide, referred to as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The distribution of CGRP-producing cells and pathways in the brain and other tissues suggests functions for the peptide in nociception, ingestive behaviour and modulation of the autonomic and endocrine systems. The approach described here permits the application of recombinant DNA technology to analyses of complex neurobiological systems in the absence of prior structural or biological information.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Calcitonin / genetics*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Genes*
  • Hormones / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Hormones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide