Cathepsin D generates γ-endorphin from β-endorphin

L. Gráf, A. Kenessey, A. Patthy, A. Grynbaum, N. Marks, A. Lajtha

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A crude extract of porcine anterior pituitary was found to contain endopeptidase activity that splits the Leu77-Phe78 peptide bond of β-lipotropin in a pH range 3.0-7.0. The specificity and susceptibility to pepstatin of pituitary extract were the same as those of cathepsin D (E.C. isolated from calf brain by affinity chromatography. Cathepsin D was shown to split the same Leu-Phe peptide bond of β-endorphin, leading to the formation of γ-endorphin. Based on the above data it is suggested that cathepsin D is a major factor in the generation of endorphins of intermediate size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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