Structural and functional comparisons and production of recombinant crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) and CHH-like peptides from the mud crab Scylla olivacea

Chih Chun Chang, Kuo Wei Tsai, Nai Wan Hsiao, Cheng Yen Chang, Chih Lung Lin, R. Douglas Watson, Chi Ying Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Sco-CHH and Sco-CHH-L (CHH-like peptide), two structural variants of the crustacean hyperglycemic hormone family identified in the mud crab (Scylla olivacea), are presumably alternatively spliced gene products. In this study, Sco-CHH and Sco-CHH-L were isolated from the tissues using high performance liquid chromatography. Identity of the native peptides was confirmed using mass spectrometric (MS) analyses of purified materials and of trypsin-digested peptide fragments. Additionally, characterizations using circular dichroism (CD) spectrometry revealed that the 2 peptides have similar CD spectral profiles, showing they are composed mainly of α-helices, and are similarly thermo-stable with a melting temperature of 74-75°C. Results of bioassays indicated that Sco-CHH exerted hyperglycemic and molt-inhibiting activity, whereas Sco-CHH-L did not. Further, recombinant Sco-CHH-Gly (rSco-CHH-Gly, a glycine extended Sco-CHH) and Sco-CHH-L (rSco-CHH-L) were produced using an Escherichia coli expression system, refolded, and purified. rSco-CHH-Gly was further α-amidated at the C-terminal end to produce rSco-CHH. MS analyses of enzyme-digested peptide fragments of rSco-CHH-Gly and rSco-CHH-L showed that the two peptides share a common disulfide bond pattern: C7-C43, C23-C39, and C26-C52. Circular dichroism analyses and hyperglycemic assay revealed that rSco-CHH and rSco-CHH-L resemble their native counterparts, in terms of CD spectral profiles, melting curve profiles, and biological activity. rSco-CHH-Gly has a lower α-helical content (32%) than rSco-CHH (47%), a structural deviation that may be responsible for the significant decrease in the biological activity of rSco-CHH-Gly. Finally, modeled structure of Sco-CHH and Sco-CHH-L indicated that they are similarly folded, each with an N-terminal tail region and 4 α-helices. Putative surface residues located in corresponding positions of Sco-CHH and Sco-CHH-L but with side chains of different properties were identified. The combined results support the notion that Sco-CHH and Sco-CHH-L are functionally different, but resemble each other at higher-level structures. Functional diversity between the 2 peptides is probably due to critical residues located in the C-terminus. The availability of large amounts of recombinant proteins will permit additional functional and structural studies of these CHH family peptides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Structural and functional comparisons and production of recombinant crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) and CHH-like peptides from the mud crab Scylla olivacea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this