Royal Society Publishing

The SALMFAmides: A New Family of Neuropeptides Isolated from an Echinoderm

Maurice R. Elphick, David A. Price, Terry D. Lee, Michael C. Thorndyke


We have isolated two novel related neuropeptides from the radial nerve cords of the starfishes Asterias rubens and Asterias forbesi. One is an octapeptide with the amino acid sequence Gly-Phe-Asn-Ser-Ala-Leu-Met-Phe-NH$_{2}$ and the other is a dodecapeptide with the amino acid sequence Ser-Gly-Pro-Tyr-Ser-Phe-Asn-Ser-Gly-Leu-Thr-Phe-NH$_{2}$. The peptides were purified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and a radioimmunoassay for the molluscan FMRFamide-related neuropeptide, pQDPFLRFamide. Both peptides share minimal sequence identity with members of the family of FMRFamide-like peptides so we have designated them as founder members of a new family, the SALMFamides. We refer to the octapeptide as SALMFamide 1 (S1) and the dodecapeptide as SALMFamide 2 (S2). S1 and S2 are the first neuropeptides identified in species belonging to the phylum Echinodermata.