The adipokinetic hormone family is neuropeptides

AKH is an insect neurohormone that is synthesized in the corpora cardiaca (CC), a neurohemal organ that is considered the functional equivalent of the vertebrate pituitary gland. AKH is normally 8–10 amino acids long with a pyroglutamate at the N-terminus and an amidated C-terminus. In addition to the essential role of mobilization of metabolites during energy-expensive activities such as flight and locomotion, AKH is involved in the control of carbohydrate homeostasis in the haemolymph of Drosophila and Bombyx larvae[1]. AKH consist of three kinds of peptide: Lom- AKH-I sequence is < Glu-Leu- Asn-Phe-Thr-Pro-Asn-Trp-Gly-Thr-NH and Lom-AKH- 11 in Locusta sequence is Glu-Leu-Asn-Phe-Ser-Ala-Gly-Trp-NH,) differs in only one amino acid from that in Schistocerca (Scg-AKH-11) ( < Glu-Leu-Asn-Phe-Ser-Thr-Gly-Trp-NH2). The three peptides is Lom- AKH-III, sequence is Glu-Leu- Asn-Phe-Thr-Pro-Trp-Trp-NH2[2].

Some researches demonstrated that the primary action of adipokinetic hormone (AKH) is to stimulate calcium ion uptake into the fat body cell, subsequently causing the formation of diacylglycerol from triacylglycerol. Furthermore, it was also shown that AKH is not directly responsible for increased diacylglycerol uptake by lipophorin from the fat body. The diacylglycerol level of the fat body was found to increase by an average of 2.4-fold after 90 min of incubation in the presence of AKH[3].

A gene sequence encoding the neuropeptide adipokinetic hormone (AKH) was isolated from a genomic library of the tobacco hornworm.One clone was obtained from which we deduced an intronless gene encoding the AKH precursor (prepro-AKH). From NH2 to COOH terminus, prepro-AKH consists of a signal peptide, a single AKH peptide block followed by a Gly-Lys-Arg processing site, and a 34-residue sequence that appears unrelated to known peptides[4].

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Reference: [1]Chenggang Zhu, Haishan Huang, Rongsheng Hua, et al. Molecular and functional characterization of adipokinetic hormone receptor and its peptide ligands in Bombyx mori. FEBS Lett. 2009, 583(9): 1463–1468. [2]Oudejans RC, Kooiman FP, Heerma W, et al. Isolation and structure elucidation of a novel adipokinetic hormone (Lom-AKH-III) from the glandular lobes of the corpus cardiacum of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. Eur J Biochem. 1991, 195(2): 351-359. [3]Lum PY, Chino H. Primary role of adipokinetic hormone in the formation of low density lipophorin in locusts. J Lipid Res. 1990, 31(11):2039-2044. [4]Bradfield JY1, Keeley LL. Adipokinetic hormone gene sequence from Manduca sexta. J Biol Chem. 1989, 264(22):12791-12793.

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