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Enkephalin: Wikis


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Symbol PENK
Entrez 5179
HUGO 8831
OMIM 131330
RefSeq NM_006211
UniProt P01210
Other data
Locus Chr. 8 q23-q24

An enkephalin is a pentapeptide involved in regulating nociception in the body. The enkephalins are termed endogenous ligands, or specifically endorphins, as they are internally derived and bind to the body's opioid receptors. Discovered in 1975, two forms of enkephalin were revealed, one containing leucine ("leu"), and the other containing methionine ("met"). Both are products of the proenkephalin gene.


Endogenous opioid peptides

There are three well-characterized families of opioid peptides produced by the body: enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins. The met-enkephalin peptide sequence is coded for by both the enkephalin gene and the endorphin gene (also known as the POMC gene); the leu-enkephalin peptide sequence is coded for by both the enkephalin gene and the dynorphin gene.[1]

Enkephalin receptor

The receptors for enkephalin are the opioid receptors (delta receptor). These is a group of G-protein-coupled receptors, with other opioids as ligands as well. The other endogenous opioids are dynorphins, endorphins, endomorphins, and nociceptin/orphanin FQ. The opioid receptors are ~40% identical to somatostatin receptors (SSTRs).

See also


  1. ^ Opioid peptides: Molecular pharmacology, biosynthesis and analysis, R.S. Rapaka and R. L. Hawks (editors) in a National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph (#70), 1986.

External links

Simple English

Enkephalins were the first endorphins that were discovered in the brain. They are found in many parts of the brain, specially in the basal ganglia. They act as "natural pain killers".

Enkephalins are small proteins. They consist of five amino acids in each of their molecules. The last amino acid is either leucine (leu) or methionine (met).

enkephalin, is a brain neurotransmitter that is formed when tyrocine, glycine, glycine, phenylalanine, and methionine through a condensation reaction or dehydration synthesis.

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