The phylogeny of enkephalins: Speculations on the origins of opioid precursors

Robert M. Dores, Lorraine K. McDonald, Alex Goldsmith, Pierre Deviche, David A. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enkephalins, dynorphins and β-endorphin are endogenous opiate-like substances that are differentially distributed among vertebrate taxa. Enkephalins have the widest distribution, and the proenkephalin gene would appear to represent the ancestral opioid gene. This review will consider the following hypothesis: the evolution of the opioids occurred as a result of two duplications of the proenkephalin gene. In this hypothesis, the first duplication event would have given rise to the proopiomelanocortin gene, the precursor for β-endorphin, and the second duplication event would have given rise to the prodynorphin gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Volume3
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Enkephalins
  • Prodynorphin
  • Proenkephalin
  • Proopiomelanocortin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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