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Tachykinins [1,2,3] are a group of biologically active peptides which excite
neurons, evoke behavioral responses, are potent vasodilatators and contract
(directly or indirectly) many smooth muscles. Peptides known to belong to the
tachykinin family are listed below:
Substance P from mammals, birds and fish.
Neurokinin A (substance K or neuromedin L) from mammals, birds and fish.
Neurokinin B (neuromedin K) from mammals and frogs.
Tachykinins, like most other active peptides, are synthesized as larger
protein precursors that are enzymatically converted to their mature forms.
Tachykinins are from ten to twelve residues long. We use, as a signature
pattern, the last five residues of the C-terminal, which are conserved and are
essential to the biological activity.
If the sequence is processed, the peptide ends with a C-terminal
amidated Met while in a precursor sequence it is always followed by a Gly
which subsequently provides the amide group.
Locust myotropic peptides locustatachykinin I and II  are distantly
related to the tachykinin family but their C-terminal sequence is different
(Val-Arg instead of Leu/Met-Met). Thus, they are not detected by the above
November 1995 / Text revised.
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