A direct chemical interaction between dynorphin and excitatory amino acids

Amina Woods, Abraham Zangen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The endogenous opioid peptide dynorphin A elicits non-opioid receptor-mediated neurotoxic effects. These effects are blocked by pretreatment with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists. Herein, the mechanism for the non-opioid effects of dynorphin and related peptides was studied by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass-spectrometry. We observed that both glutamate or aspartate bind non-covalently to dynorphin A and dynorphin 2-17. However, when dynorphin A or dynorphin 2-17 were added to an equimolar mixture of Glutamate and Aspartate, they both complexed preferentially with glutamate. These data may explain the non-opioid physiological effects of dynorphin A and related peptides and indicate that the direct chemical interaction between neurotransmitters should be monitored when studying interactions between different neurochemical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspartatic acid
  • Dynorphin
  • Glutamic acid matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass-spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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