Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
More than half of all known neuroendocrine peptides are alpha amidated and in nearly all cases, this structural feature is essential for receptor recognition and signal transduction. Alpha Amidation is a terminal modification in peptide biosynthesis and can itself be rate limiting in the overall bioactivation of peptide messengers. Thus, regulation of alpha amidation has importance to the vital roles of alpha amidated peptides in intercellular communication including control of brain, pituitary, pancreatic and gastrointestinal functions. A major objective of the research is to define the mechanisms that control the activity of alpha amidation by directly regulating the enzyme involved. Understanding the physiologic regulation of alpha amidation, and the basis for its control by pharmacologic treatments, should enable new approaches for inquiry into the role of peptide alpha amidation in health, disease and one's response to therapeutic interventions.