Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of the dark-color-inducing neurohormone of locusts and corazonin

Deborah E. Shalev, Yoram Yerushalmi, Meir Paul Pener, Irina Kustanovich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The dark-color-inducing neurohormone (DCIN) of locusts and corazonin of a cockroach, both 11 residue-long peptides, induce dark coloration in albino nymphs of Locusta migratoria when injected after a nymphal molt. These peptides differ at position 7 (His in DCIN and Arg in corazonin) and elicit an almost identical darkening response. The three-dimensional structures of these peptides, dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), were determined by NMR. Structural elements determined at atomic resolution may provide insight into the biological activity of these two neurohormones. The calculated structures of DCIN and corazonin indicate clear, prevalent conformations with similar secondary features. The generated low-energy solution structures of each show structural elements within residues Phe3 to Trp9 with a turn situated at the core of the peptide from which the sidechains of residue 7 of each peptide protrude. A calculated negative electrostatic potential surface almost completely covers both neurohormones and only the 7th residue sidechains of each peptide emerge in their entirety. Within these residues there is a partial sequence seen in several neurohormones that control various physiological functions in Arthropods: -Ser-X-Gly-Trp- (X = His in DCIN and Arg in corazonin). This partial sequence may play a role in the physiological activity of some Arthropod neurohormones.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003


  • Corazonin
  • Dark-color-inducing neurohormone
  • Locusts
  • NMR
  • Solution structure


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