PROSITE documentation PDOC00964
Endogenous opioids neuropeptides precursors signature


Vertebrate endogenous opioids neuropeptides are released by post-translational proteolytic processing of precursor proteins. These precursor proteins consist of a signal sequence followed by a conserved region of about 50 residues, a variable length region and the sequence of the various neuropeptides. Three types of precursors are currently known:

  • Preproenkephalin A (gene PENK) which is processed to produce the peptides Met-enkephalin (6 copies) and Leu-enkephalin,
  • Preproenkephalin B (gene PDYN) which is processed to produce the peptides neoendorphin, dynorphin, leumorphin, rimorphin and leu-enkephalin.
  • Prepronocipeptin (gene PNOC) which is processed to produce the peptides nociceptin (orphanin FQ) as well as two other potential neuropeptides.

The conserved region in the N-terminal of these precursors contains six cysteines that are probably involved in disulfide bonds. This region could be important for the processing of the neuropeptides [1].

Last update:

May 2004 / Text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

OPIOIDS_PRECURSOR, PS01252; Endogenous opioids neuropeptides precursors signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsMollereau C. Simons M.-J. Soularue P. Liners F. Vassart G. Meunier J.-C. Parmentier M.
TitleStructure, tissue distribution, and chromosomal localization of the prepronociceptin gene.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93:8666-8670(1996).
PubMed ID8710928

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